Switzerland is one of the world’s leading financial centres. Deep roots in the Swiss domestic market coupled with international interconnectedness, a history spanning centuries, progressive yet sustainable traditions, and universality of services form the basis on which the Swiss financial sector stands.
As the leading professional association of the banking sector, we support entrepreneurial freedom and open markets and are committed to ensuring competitive operating conditions that allow for development and growth. We advocate for an innovative and multifaceted banking sector that contributes to a strong and open economy. We promote education and training for bank employees and strengthen the good reputation of our banks by disseminating information about financial services and the importance of the financial centre for the economy and the citizens of our country.
Who we are
The Swiss Bankers Association is the leading professional association of banks and bankers in Switzerland. Membership is open to banks in Switzerland and other financial companies regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, as well as to bank auditors. Virtually all banks in Switzerland are members of our Association.
Since 1912, we have represented the interests of our members in dealings with politicians, authorities and the general public. We value the diversity of the Swiss financial centre and strive to ensure that the interests of all our members are fairly represented.
We take care to ensure that all the various bank groups and regions have a voice in our managing bodies. We practice a form of governance that takes appropriate account of all relevant interests.
As a competence centre, we offer our expertise in banking, act with foresight, define relevant topics and secure tangible improvements to the operating environment for the banking sector.
Through the services provided by our members, we wish to create the greatest possible long-term benefit for the Swiss economy and private households. The real economy and the financial sector strengthen each other on a mutual basis, which is why we work closely with all sectors of the economy.
The Swiss Bankers Association works to ensure that all banks – irrespective of their business model and size – enjoy the best possible operating conditions in Switzerland, which allow for effective competition, development and success. We are therefore committed to promoting entrepreneurial freedom and open markets.
We wish to continue expanding our international activities, with the aim of consolidating and reinforcing Switzerland’s status as one of the world’s leading financial centres. Switzerland’s traditional values – quality, stability, legal security and international openness – are at the core of this philosophy.
We work to ensure optimum operating conditions compared to competing financial centres abroad. We foster open markets and fight discrimination.
Through open and constructive dialogue with politicians and authorities and interaction with partner associations and institutions in the world’s leading financial centres, we effectively represent the interests of the banking sector and actively help to shape operating conditions. In doing so, we promote business opportunities for Swiss banks.
As a successful global financial centre, we wish to continue creating high-quality jobs in the future. As an association, we promote the education and training of employees and senior managers at our banks as well as financial research and apprenticeships.
We are committed to a liberal yet socially conscious form of economics that takes appropriate account of the interests of all stakeholder groups. In the operation of our activities, we target the highest standards in our sector towards promoting responsible business conduct that is beyond reproach.
Our members’ clients are our centre of focus. In particular, our self-regulation imposes strict standards in terms of service professionalism, best practice in business and avoidance of conflicts of interest.
The universal right to protection of privacy in Switzerland also applies to financial privacy in particular, with banks in Switzerland duty-bound to protect their clients in this regard. At the same time, we are committed to fighting abuses of the financial system arising from assets of criminal origin, and we work with the authorities in relation to providing legal and administrative assistance.
The Swiss Banking Ombudsman is at hand to provide clients with free advice and assistance to help reach mutually-acceptable resolutions to any disputes arising from the business relationship with a member institution. Our members undertake to work constructively with the banking ombudsman.
We support regulation of the Swiss financial sector that is geared to globally recognised standards, and are committed to promoting a strong and efficient supervisory authority that stands on a par with the world’s leading supervisory bodies. In implementing international standards, Switzerland must take a consistent approach. However, in order to safeguard our competitiveness, it should do so not in isolation, but in coordination with the major competing financial centres.
Self-regulation should take precedence over state regulation whenever doing so leads to equivalent or better results; we must adhere to the principle of self-regulation in consultation with FINMA.
The services we offer our members
The Swiss Banker Associations represents the interests of all bank groups in an appropriate manner vis-à-vis politicians, authorities and the general public in Switzerland and abroad.
It is the voice of the banking industry in all political and regulatory matters of relevance. The Board of Directors, the Office of the Swiss Bankers Association , the Steering Committees and the Commissions take care to define unified and comprehensive standpoints in terms of the issues at hand in a way that helps to shape these. The Swiss Bankers Association addresses topical issues relating to key themes and trends in the financial industry, draws up its own proposals in close coordination with its members and actively participates in shaping public debate.
Through the Board of Directors, the members determine the strategic priorities, the scope of responsibilities and the available budget for this purpose on an annual basis. The Office of the Swiss Bankers Association runs the day-to-day business of the Swiss Bankers Association and must meet the high standards expected by our members in terms of meeting their needs and providing the highest quality of service.
The Swiss Bankers Association promotes solidarity and the exchange of information and insight among the bankers, boards of directors, senior management and bank employees of its Institutional Members and provides suitable information platforms for this purpose. It coordinates these interests in tandem with those of the banks’ joint utility providers.
The education and training of bank employees is important to us
The activities of the Swiss Bankers Association focus, in particular, on the education and training of apprentices, employees and senior managers in the banking sector.
As a professional organisation, we represent the industry’s interests in dealings with authorities and other commercial education and training stakeholder groups, and ensure state accreditation of training qualifications.
We promote banks’ joint education and training initiatives and certify training courses offered by banks and third parties.
In particular, we support banking and finance research and apprenticeships and executive education courses via the Swiss Finance Institute – a foundation administered by us, our members and by SIX Group.
In addition to educational and training services, the Swiss Bankers Association focuses on strategic educational development by anticipating trends and new competence-related requirements at an early stage and integrating these into the educational offering in a forward-looking and appropriate manner.
As the umbrella organisation of the banking sector, the Swiss Bankers Association sees itself as a curator in educational and training matters. We coordinate the commitments of the entire sector at the various levels of education and training and, in cooperation with the bank groups, identify transversal topics and trends as well as gauging their influence on the banking world.
Close cooperation with politicians, authorities and the general public
The Swiss Bankers Association actively helps to shape the future operating conditions and represents the position of the banking sector in a direct and convincing manner. This includes maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with politicians, authorities and the general public in Switzerland and abroad, particularly in selected key countries, and with the European Union and international organisations.
The Swiss Bankers Association informs the relevant stakeholder groups about its interests in a factual, transparent and timely manner, and represents its position correctly in terms of form and content and in the interests of the matter at hand. The effective representation of the interests of the banking sector by the Swiss Bankers Association is conducted according to the highest professional standards.
The Swiss Bankers Association communicates with the general public in accordance with the principles of clarity and intelligibility.
Excellent working conditions for bank employees in Switzerland and the maintenance of peaceful industrial relations are key issues for us. The bank employer associations in Switzerland are committed to responsible social partnership with bank employee organisations on a national level.