The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
December 13, 2019


Dear Reader

Dear Reader

When I look back on my first six months as CEO of the SBA, something said by my predecessor, Claude-Alain Margelisch, springs to mind, which I wholeheartedly agree with: it was never boring. It’s not today either. Many things are in a state of flux and today we are setting an important course for the Swiss financial centre, which is also reflected in the articles in this issue of insight.

Jörg Gasser - CEO
Sustainability is a topic that we will continue to dedicate a lot of time to in the coming year. Although the financial sector cannot save the climate on its own, it can make an important contribution to achieving environmental goals by supporting the fastest possible exit from the CO2-intensive economy. The Swiss financial centre has long recognised its role in this area and is far ahead of all other countries with important financial centres in the global ranking. Switzerland is actively involved in a large number of global initiatives, thus contributing to the acceleration and consolidation of sustainable finance. It has an important function as a role model that extends far beyond the financial centre itself, and which will be decisive for its positioning at home and abroad in the future.

The semi-annual Swiss Asset Managers’ Survey confirms this trend: half of the asset managers surveyed already have more than 25 percent of all their assets invested in line with ESG standards.

We are also setting the course when it comes to digitalisation: the migration of data and services to the cloud is only a matter of time for banks. However, this migration is still associated with a number of uncertainties, especially of a regulatory and security nature. In open banking too, the opening of interfaces and the increased exchange of data bring new risks and challenges. This applies above all to data protection, supervision and cyber security. By identifying uncertainties and developing solutions, the SBA sees itself as a door opener for its member institutions.

At the foreign policy level, 2020 will be a year of important decisions. Acceptance of the “Begrenzungsinitiative” (limitation initiative) to terminate the free movement of persons with the European Union (EU) would in effect mean the end of the bilateral approach. Access to the European single market is, however, of great importance for the financial centre and for all other export-oriented sectors in Switzerland. The SBA therefore firmly rejects this initiative and advocates for the constructive further development of relations with the EU.

I wish you an enjoyable read!

Jörg Gasser