The Capital Adequacy Ordinance (CAO) permits “legal and contractual netting” as a risk-mitigating measure (Art. 61 para. 1 let. a CAO). By netting derivatives positions against each other, banks can reduce their balance sheet items and thus also their capital costs.  

In order to benefit from netting, they must provide evidence that it is legally enforceable in the jurisdictions concerned. The Swiss Bankers Association orders the legal opinions on netting required for the master agreements (OTC SMA, ETD SMA, Repo SMA, SLB SMA, ISDA etc.) and ensures that they are periodically updated.

Swiss Bankers Association members can order legal opinions in PDF form as follows*:  

  • Individual legal opinions concerning specific countries can be ordered for CHF 1,000 ex VAT. This also includes previous opinions for the same country and agreement on request.
  • Alternatively, a subscription for CHF 5,000 ex VAT p.a. Once you have taken out a subscription, you will have unlimited access to all legal opinions on the Swiss Bankers Association portal. A minimum subscription period applies, which runs from the date of the order to 31 December of the following year. Subscriptions that are not cancelled by 30 November of the following year are automatically extended by a year. For the current year, the subscription is invoiced on a pro rata basis from the date it is taken out up to 31 December.

*Individual legal opinions and the subscription are available exclusively to SBA members. Orders submitted using the web form are binding. If you work for a member bank and are unsure whether it already has a subscription, you can check in the portal whether you have access to legal opinions on netting.