Cloud Computing

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.

What is a cloud? 

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

Overcoming legal challenges in a business-friendly manner

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

Because of the huge potential in cloud services, the SBA has been working hard for years to improve the frameworks for them. The authorities, providers and the sector are liaising closely in this area.  

Our work focuses on defining technical, organisational and legal measures for ensuring data security and compliance with regulatory requirements. The SBA has worked with member institutions, audit firms and cloud providers to draw up a set of guidelines, which have been acknowledged by the authorities. The guidelines contain recommendations intended to help banks migrate their data to the cloud more easily and securely. Each bank must develop its own strategy on whether it migrates data to the cloud, which data it migrates and how it does so. 


Richard Hess
Head of Digital Finance
+41 58 330 62 51
Natalie Graf
Senior Legal Counsel
+41 58 330 62 42