SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
March 23, 2021

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader

The unremitting COVID-19 pandemic continues to present Switzerland with enormous challenges that can only be overcome by everyone pulling together. The main priority for all of us should be to protect the health of the general population and get the economy back on its feet in the best way possible. Even though most of our attention is focused on battling the coronavirus pandemic, we still have some important political decisions ahead of us. In June, for example, the Swiss electorate will vote on the CO2 Act. The Swiss Bankers Association wholeheartedly supports this initiative.
Herbert J. Scheidt
by Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman

Switzerland’s handling of the coronavirus crisis seems to have been geared more towards reacting, rather than acting. This is evident in the low rate of testing, poor understanding of infection processes, and vaccine shortages, despite being one of the world’s richest countries. Addressing all of these shortcomings would only cost us a fraction of what we need to spend on rescue packages now and in future. Only one course of action remains: test, trace and vaccinate. The main priority for all of us should be to protect the health of the general population and get the economy back on its feet in the best way possible, and create the right conditions for reopening. This has to be the best support imaginable for any economic system. The banks will continue to shoulder their responsibility as we move towards this goal.

As an association of bankers, we are also aware of our responsibility for advocating sustainability, which has been top of our priority list for years now. The passing of the CO2 Act in the June referendum is absolutely essential for future generations if they are to live in an undamaged, healthy world where they can realise their full potential. We therefore stand behind the proposed legislation. You can read more in this article. I would also like to draw your attention to the important role that Geneva’s financial centre plays in the area of sustainable finance: more information can be found here.

 

Digitalisation is another important area where the SBA is fully engaged. On the one hand, every institution needs to work out for themselves which are the best tools for meeting customers’ digital needs. At the same time, however, we are exploring innovative approaches, such as open finance, that could benefit our members. Secure collaboration between banks and third-party providers in the service of customers is the focus here. More information can be found in this article.

Finally, I would like to highlight the general conditions that we must take care to defend, particularly in these difficult times: the OECD has set itself the task of addressing the tax challenges raised by digitalisation. The enormous cost of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic increases pressure on governments to generate new sources of revenue, as you can read here. Although many aspects are still uncertain, our active support for these developments is also vital for the prosperity of Switzerland as a financial centre.

I wish you an enjoyable and informative read.

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The SBA reserves the right not to publish comments. This applies in particular to comments that are offensive, irrelevant or do not address the topic. It also applies to comments written in dialect or a foreign language (except for French, English and Italian). Comments posted under pseudonyms or obviously false will also not be published. Comments are moderated.