SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
June 28, 2020

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Dear Readers

Dear Readers

At times, the world can feel boundless and then sometimes, it can suddenly become very limited. We have experienced this in recent months at a speed that has triggered certain fears and presented us with many new questions. Even if the worst of the corona pandemic appears to be over for the time being, numerous questions remain unanswered.
Jörg Gasser
by Jörg Gasser, CEO

As the umbrella organisation of the banks in Switzerland, we have been able to react to many challenges for our economy and play an important role in supporting companies whose existence was at risk. In this issue of our online magazine insight, you can read about how two experts at the SBA experienced those turbulent weeks and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the SME loan programme came into being.

Even if it is not yet possible to predict how the coming weeks will unfold, future developments can be deduced from the experience gained over the past few months. This applies, for example, to payment transactions, where the distancing rules necessary in everyday life have led to a surge in contactless payments. Read more about the impact of the corona crisis on check-out counters and payment terminals in Switzerland.

The distancing rules and the protection of our members are also the key reasons for the decision to cancel this year's Bankers Day, which was scheduled for early September. For further details, please refer to our dedicated Webpage, which also contains information on how our Annual General Meeting will be held.

However, when we look to the future, our view is by no means narrow; we also see new opportunities. While much of the public attention has been focused on the corona crisis, the Bankers Association has been able to set guiding principles for sustainable finance thanks to the strong and close collaboration with its members. Well-received guidelines for the advisory process for private clients have been published together with other sector initiatives relating to sustainable finance that point the way forward.

As the Swiss Bankers Association, we are also committed to an open Switzerland – for example, as this applies to the upcoming “termination initiative” which will be put to the vote. Read our arguments in detail to find out why the SBA’s stance is that this initiative should clearly be rejected. After all, the issue at stake is access to the EU single market, which is essential for the Swiss economy.

Another step towards the future is the replacement of LIBOR as the key benchmark interest rate by SARON. In an interview, Dr Andréa Mächler, Member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, explains why this changeover is necessary. Martin Bardenhewer, Head of Financial Institutions & Multinationals at ZKB and Co-chairman of the national working group for the transition to Saron, attests to the fact that the banks are well prepared for this.

I wish you an enjoyable read

Jörg Gasser
CEO

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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.