Vision & mission
The Swiss Bankers Association is the Swiss financial sector’s leading industry association. Our main objective is to create the best possible operating conditions for banks in Switzerland.
Shaping the future, creating scope for development
Who we are
As the umbrella association of Switzerland’s banks, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) brings together some 270 member institutions from the various bank categories and other financial services providers. The Association represents the financial centre’s interests vis-à-vis politicians, authorities and the general public.
We are committed to entrepreneurial freedom and open markets, and work towards an environment in which an innovative and diverse banking sector can grow. We are a forward-thinking knowledge hub, setting the agenda and steering the industry towards a sustainable future.
- The SBA was founded in Basel in 1912 and is the umbrella association of banks in Switzerland, bringing together some 270 member institutions and around 12,300 individual members from the following bank categories: big banks, cantonal banks, regional banks, foreign banks, asset and wealth management banks, private banks and other banks. In addition, the SBA counts securities firms, financial market infrastructures, auditing companies of banks, of securities firms and of financial market infrastructures, as well as associations of the financial centre to its members.
- Over 700 experts and specialists from member institutions formulate broad-based opinions within our various committees and commissions, supported by a staff of around 55 (full-time equivalents) in our offices.
- Dr. Marcel Rohner, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA, has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since September 2021.
We aim to create optimum frameworks for a strong, diverse and innovative Swiss banking sector.
The Swiss Bankers Association is committed to a strong banking sector with optimum frameworks to contribute to a competitive and open economy.
We effectively represent the Swiss banking sector’s interests and support our members with services and coordination platforms.
- As the umbrella organisation of Switzerland’s banks, we represent the industry’s interests vis-à-vis politicians, authorities and the general public in Switzerland and abroad.
- We are the voice of the banking industry in all relevant political and regulatory matters and engage in transparent dialogue with the public at large.
- We promote the Swiss financial centre’s image throughout the world.
- We promote solidarity and the exchange of information and insight among banks and their staff.
- We advise our members and provide them with services and coordination platforms.
- We develop and refine self-regulation in consultation with regulators.
- We promote training and career development for bank staff of all ages.
- We coordinate the Swiss banks’ joint utility providers.
Every year, the Swiss Bankers Association’s Board of Directors determines the Association’s priority areas with a view to ensuring attractive operating conditions for the banking sector.
The SBA’s priorities for 2024 are as follows:
The Swiss financial centre wants to be a leading international hub for sustainable finance. The SBA has taken various measures to this end and is working to prevent greenwashing. Its focus is on ensuring that the legislative framework takes account of the industry’s needs and offers planning and legal certainty. It sees self-regulation on investment advice and wealth management as a vital instrument in this respect. The SBA will represent this thematic and regulatory perspective in its dealings with the authorities and in political decision-making processes.
Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)
The SBA is committed to ensuring that Swiss legislation affecting the banking industry is compatible with international standards and to preserving Switzerland’s competitiveness. It will continue to conduct proactive and constructive dialogue with the relevant authorities.
Sanctions and neutrality
The SBA plays its part in the consistent implementation of sanctions and works to position the Swiss financial centre clearly in the international context while taking account of Switzerland’s enduring neutrality, which is fundamental to Swiss foreign policy. In doing so, it focuses on clarifying operational implementation and interpretation issues on an ongoing basis as well as on proactively monitoring international developments. This includes, among other things, continuing its established, regular dialogue with SECO.
The SBA has two main aims here. The first is to achieve bilateral market access improvements in key focus markets (particularly Germany and Italy) without the need for a framework agreement. This will increase legal certainty for banks in Switzerland with regard to cross-border business, allowing this business to grow and thus keeping value added, tax revenues and jobs in Switzerland. The SBA is committed to maintaining the existing exemption model with Germany and achieving progress in terms of access to the Italian market. The second aim is to promote the institution-specific approach for EU market access in order to counteract the increasing restrictions placed on third countries in the EU marketplace. The SBA is working to keep Swiss banks’ market access concerns on the agenda of talks between Switzerland and the EU and to make sure that the EU authorities understand the institution-specific approach to market access.
Regulatory response to the Credit Suisse case
When it comes to defining future regulatory requirements, the SBA will engage in constructive and effective dialogue with the Federal Department of Finance, the Swiss National Bank and FINMA. Its aims here are as follows: to concentrate on adequate and targeted measures in banking regulation and supervision; to ensure a sufficiently risk-based, proportionate and reasoned approach; and to promote international compatibility and competitiveness. Among other things, the SBA intends to create attractive options for liquidity management and prevent the scope of application of future regulatory requirements from becoming unnecessarily broad.
The SBA endeavours to position Switzerland as an innovation leader in digital currencies. To this end, it empowers its members to grasp the potential of digital and programmable currencies and position themselves strategically within this ecosystem on the basis of robust decision-making input. The aim here is to ensure that the Swiss financial centre – in particular the banks – can implement technological innovations in payments and currencies while preserving the two-tier banking system. The SBA therefore intends to see the Swiss deposit token project through to fruition.