Cloud services give banks new scope for innovative business models and more efficient processes. Appropriate frameworks are needed to put this technology to use in a way that benefits the financial sector.
Cloud services allow banks to improve efficiency and create innovative business models
Migrating infrastructure and processes to a cloud can drastically reduce the time it takes for banks to bring innovative products and services to the market and thus significantly increase their competitiveness. The cloud enables banks to exploit new technologies such as artificial intelligence without making substantial investments in their own hardware and software. Access to a large pool of data and the corresponding computing power allows large data volumes to be analysed in real time, enabling banks to offer innovative, tailor-made advisory services to individual customers or automate complex compliance and risk processes. The cloud also permits substantial efficiency gains in the development and testing of new applications and systems.
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. There are three types of cloud service: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). These can be provided via a private, community, public or hybrid cloud.
Source: definition according to NIST
A number of cloud service providers already have an offering in Switzerland or have announced that they will be introducing one. Owing to their specific needs, until now banks have not been able to make full use of these services for customer data. Ensuring supervision, compliance with bank-client confidentiality and subcontracting by cloud providers were some of the legal challenges that needed to be resolved. Nevertheless, it seems certain that some key applications will only exist in the cloud in the medium term.
Position of the Swiss Bankers Association
Links & Documents
Cloud Guidelines – A guide to secure cloud banking
Position paper: Bilateral mutual legal assistance agreement with the US pursuant to the US CLOUD Act
Legal opinion: Permissibility of disclosure by Swiss banks of bank client information to agents in foreign countries under Article 47 of the Banking Act (Walder Wyss AG) (2019)