The banks: an important economic factor for Switzerland

Around 63 billion francs or 9.4 percent of total gross value added in Switzerland: that is the im-portant contribution that the financial sector made to Switzerland’s economic power in 2018. If the indirect effects are included in the calculation, this contribution increases to 83 billion francs.

BAK Economics has published its 2019 study on the contribution of the finance industry to the Swiss economy. The findings underscore the important role of the banks and insurers in generating value added in Switzerland, as well as their importance as employers and taxpayers.

The financial sector’s direct value added in 2018 increased by 5.3 percent to CHF 63 billion compared to the previous year. The banks recorded CHF 32.8 billion of direct value added and an additional CHF 13.4 billion of indirect value added. Indirect value added is measured on the basis of the upstream value-added steps taken by banks and insurers at companies in other sectors. In addition to this are the effects for trade and industry arising from the consumer spending of employees.

The study also finds that together, the financial institutions and insurance companies directly provide 218,400 jobs in Switzerland. The banks alone accounted for 144,000 jobs plus an additional 99,200 jobs indirectly. The financial sector is highly interconnected with companies in other sectors from which it procures goods and services. If this indirect employment effect is taken into account, a total of 364,900 jobs were connected to the banks and insurers in 2018.

In 2018, the activities of the financial centre, including the indirect taxation of financial services, resulted in tax revenues of approx. 17.6 billion francs. This corresponds to about every eighth franc paid in taxes to the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities.

The impact analysis of the Swiss financial sector is conducted annually on behalf of the Swiss Bankers Association SBA and the Swiss Insurance Association SIA. The complete study by BAK Economics, which will provide an in-depth analysis of the financial sector, will be published in November 2019.

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