Events - 22.01.2013 - 00:00 

The future of Swiss Banking

How big should banks be? This is one of the questions that will be discussed on 4 February 2013 at the conference “The future of Switzerland as a financial centre” by HSG Alumni und the School of Finance.
Source: HSG Newsroom


21 January 2013. Big universal banks are the hallmark of the financial centre, Switzerland. The assets managed by Credit Suisse and UBS amount to six times the Swiss GDP, while the two groups’ balance-sheet total amounts to four times the GDP. The big banks do not only operate on a global scale, they also dominate the domestic banking market: Credit Suisse and UBS together hold about a third of the domestic customer deposits and loans and play an important part in payment transactions.

Challenges for the Swiss banks
The Swiss banking sector is characterised by an increasing concentration of actors. Since the latest property boom in the late 1980s, the number of banks involved in domestic business has decreased from over 250 to fewer than 100. At the same time, a diversification of the activities of all bank types has taken place. The big banks have complemented their core business of asset management with investment banking.

What impact do concentration and diversification have on individual banks’ profitability and stability? Do we need big universal banks? What risks are inherent in big banks for corporate management and the national economy? Can and should these risks be contained by regulation? The configuration of future financial sector policies and the acceptance of such policies among the population require clear answers to these questions.

Speakers from trade and industry, academia and politics
The following speakers will discuss financial policy and the challenges for Swiss banks:

• Dr. Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Zurich Insurance Group

• Dr. Patrick Raaflaub, CEO of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority

• Raymond J. Bär, Honorary Chairman of Julius Bär Gruppe AG

• Dr. Pierin Vincenz, President of the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Gruppe

• Prof. Dr. Thomas Wiedmer, Alternate Member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB)

After the panel discussion, they will answer conference guests’ questions. The conference is open to the public but subject to an entrance fee and advance booking. It constitutes the launch of the series of events about “The future of Switzerland as a financial centre” organised by HSG Alumni and the School of Finance of the University of St.Gallen.