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Credit Suisse Study on Switzerland as a Financial Center – 2014 Edition

Enhancing Competitiveness through the Combined Efforts of Politics and the Private Sector

Credit Suisse today released the latest version of its publication "Switzerland as a Financial Center: Enhancing Competitiveness through the Combined Efforts of Politics and the Private Sector." What developments has the Swiss financial center undergone in the past two years? How are the leading international financial centers positioned? What are the key trends? As in the previous study, which was published in the fall of 2012, Credit Suisse examines the international competitiveness of the Swiss financial center and identifies strategic areas with particular need for action. With this study, Credit Suisse seeks to contribute to the debate about the future of the Swiss financial center.

With regard to the environment in which the Swiss financial center is operating, the trends we identified in the fall of 2012 have largely been confirmed, though in some cases have become more accentuated. The committee of experts appointed by the Swiss Federal Council to develop the financial market strategy is working on vital areas such as market access, tax, the regulatory process as well as macroeconomic risk. The aim is to build on the Swiss financial center's clear, existing strengths, and to maintain its internationally important role going forward.

The Credit Suisse study addresses the financial sector as a whole, the individual banks, but also policymakers and the authorities. The continued strengthening of the Swiss financial center's competitiveness calls for innovation and investment on the part of banks and asset managers.

Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group, said: "The Swiss financial center cannot afford to stand still, and needs to constantly adapt to the changing environment. It is crucial to find a solution to past tax issues and the setting of intergovernmental rules on the exchange of information. Access to third markets for Swiss financial institutions, investment in forward-looking areas such as Fin Tech (Financial Services Technology), high-quality infrastructure, as well as maintaining Switzerland's status as an attractive location thanks to sound economic policy, are also key. This requires a concerted effort on the part of the Swiss banks, government and parliament, as well as the regulator."

Trends, Success Factors, Recommendations for Action
The study reviews the most important developments over the last two years, compares the positioning of leading international financial centers, and explores key trends. These include the continued growth in potential assets under management in emerging economies, increasingly fragmented regulation at international level, and digitalization within the banking industry.

From this, the study identifies future success factors for the Swiss financial center:
• Pragmatic approach of the Swiss authorities in relation to increasing international regulatory pressure and a resurgence in protectionism, in particular through ensuring market access and fiscally competitive bank refinancing
• Use of efficient, user-friedly technologies as a key component of an improved client service
• Securing competitive advantages through Swiss financial market infrastructure providers
• Safeguarding internationally competitive and fiscally attractive framework conditions through predictable economic policy and coordinated locational development, above all with a view to qualified labor

The publication concludes with recommendations for action, which should enable the Swiss financial center to secure its leading international position in the long term:
• Define a forward-looking value proposition for the Swiss financial center
• Address changing client requirements in the wealth management business
• Ensure access to the most highly qualified specialist personnel
• Position Switzerland as a center for asset management in international terms
• Strengthen corporate banking as a central pillar of the export-led Swiss economy
• Systematically promote innovation in the FinTech sector
• Guarantee data security and infrastructure stability
• Improve general understanding of financial and economic issues
• Strengthen coordination of the promotion of the financial center abroad
• Stabilize the relationship with Europe in the long term and secure access to global markets
• Implement international standards promptly but pragmatically, while ensuring equivalence
• Create an attractive tax environment for the financial sector and Switzerland as an industrial hub
• Ensure legal certainty and regulatory predictability
• Systematically gear the financial center toward changes in global trade flows

This year’s edition of the study "Switzerland as a Financial Center: Enhancing Competitiveness through the Combined Efforts of Politics and the Private Sector" is available on the internet in English, French, and German at: Publications and Subscriptions