The Briefing on Private Banker International - Swiss banks hit hard times

This edition of The Briefing looks at a number of studies and data on Swiss private banks: The original and – some might say – the best in the world. But how much longer can they hold onto their mantle?



The number of Swiss private banks expected to close or merge in “the coming years”. A report by PWC said that operating costs would see a reduction in the total number of Swiss private banks from the current 130 down to 100.


The number of Swiss banks and securities dealers that exited the market in 2018, following a, “voluntary cessation of business requiring supervision”, according to FINMA, the regulator. It was the highest number of exits since 2012.


The number of new senior hires in Switzerland by major US banks over the past few months. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have both boosted their Swiss offices, nabbing executives from UBS and Lombard Odier to lead their operations there. Other US banks are eyeing up the Swiss wealth management market as a base to serve European clients.


The percentage of the Swiss population that is defined as “mass affluent” (those with onshore liquid assets between $50,000 and $1m) according to GlobalData. The research firm (owned by the same holding company as PBI) expects a 12% increase in this segment between now and 2022.


Switzerland is the fifth most popular country for HNWIs to move to, according a sentiment survey published in the Knight Frank Wealth Report. When asked, “where are those considering emigrating most likely to move to?” wealth advisors chose their top five, which are, in order: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Switzerland.


The number of Swiss based start-ups, service providers and other organisations that are members of the Crypto Valley, a cryptocurrency non-governmental association. Many members are based in Zug, a low-tax canton that has been dubbed the “crypto valley” due to the number of blockchain firms registered there. Recently Facebook also announced it would launch its cryptocurrency Libra via a Swiss foundation.

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