05.11.2020

Fourth Financial Seminar Hong Kong – Switzerland: wealth management in times of the corona pandemic

How is COVID impacting international wealth management, how is Hong Kong coping with the crisis and geopolitical tensions, and what does corona mean for the Swiss financial centre? These were the questions that dominated this year’s Financial Seminar Hong Kong – Switzerland.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fourth edition of the Financial Seminar Hong Kong – Switzerland was held exclusively online on 4 November. The seminar was attended by over 120 participants. The presentations, which were followed by discussions and a panel, provided an opportunity to further strengthen the good relations between the two leading wealth management centres and the dialogue between experts.

In his welcome address, Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, highlighted which factors are particularly important for ensuring financial market stability in times of crisis. “The Corona crisis has demonstrated that secure and well-capitalised banks are absolutely key in order to serve as a stable anchor for the economy. Due to the crash in financial markets, systematic intervention by the major central banks has become necessary.”

In his keynote speech, Edmond Lau, Senior Executive Director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), explained how Hong Kong is dealing with the COVID crisis and geopolitical tensions. Stefan Flückiger, Deputy State Secretary for International Finance (SIF), went on to explore the impact of the pandemic on the Swiss financial centre. He stressed the importance of further development and highlighted the progress made by the Swiss financial centre in the areas of sustainability, innovation and global interconnectedness.

The panel discussion focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the two financial centres and demand for financial products. The experts were unanimous: thanks to major advances and the broad acceptance of digital channels – and despite travel restrictions – customers continued to receive personalised advice. The panellists confirmed that both expertise and trusting relationships are key in wealth management, especially during a crisis. In the cross-border business in particular, technology makes it possible to increase the frequency of contact with customers while also involving specialists. This was not yet common practice before the pandemic. Excellent technology, excellent specialists, excellent advice and excellent products must all go hand in hand. In view of the uncertain market developments, customers are increasingly focusing on products with a short-term investment horizon. Hedge funds, private equity and other alternative investments are in greater demand despite their lower liquidity.

The Financial Seminar was the fourth in a series organised by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Hong Kong Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA). The aim of the seminars is to strengthen relations and cooperation between the two associations and financial centres.

Fourth Financial Seminar Hong Kong – Switzerland

CoronavirusSwiss financial centre

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