Swiss Banking Sector

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) divides the 338 banks in Switzerland into various categories: big banksbig banks, cantonal bankscantonal banks, regional banks and savings banksregional banks and savings banks, Raiffeisen banksRaiffeisen banks, other banks (including, in particular, commercial banks and stock exchange bankscommercial banks and stock exchange banks, as well as foreign-controlled banksforeign-controlled banks), branches of foreign banksbranches of foreign banks and private banksprivate banks. These bank categories differ with regard to their size, business focus, geographic scope of activities and legal form. Within the banking sector, the big banks maintain a dominant position in every respect.

Structure of the Swiss banking sector

 

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) divides the 338 banks in Switzerland into various categories: big banksbig banks, cantonal bankscantonal banks, regional banks and savings banksregional banks and savings banks, Raiffeisen banksRaiffeisen banks, other banks (including, in particular, commercial banks and stock exchange bankscommercial banks and stock exchange banks, as well as foreign-controlled banksforeign-controlled banks), branches of foreign banksbranches of foreign banks and private banksprivate banks. These bank categories differ with regard to their size, business focus, geographic scope of activities and legal form. Within the banking sector, the big banks maintain a dominant position in every respect.

 

Further information on the structure, processes and institutions in the Swiss banking sector are contained in the statistical yearbook Banks in SwitzerlandBanks in Switzerland and in "The Swiss Banking Sector Compendium Edition 2006" of the Swiss Bankers Association.

 

The Swiss Banking Sector – Compendium Edition 2006: http://shop2.sba.ch/11116_e.pdf

Share of the total number of banks, and share of the balance sheet total of the banking sector; for each bank category (2006)

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Regulation and oversight

 

Banks operating in Switzerland are subject to the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks (Banking Act) (German: www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c952_0.html; French: www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/c952_0.html).

 

Detailed regulations – e.g. on capital, liquidity and risk diversification – are contained in the Ordinance on Banks and Savings Banks (Banking Ordinance) (German: www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c952_02.html; French: www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/c952_02.html). The banking legislation also takes account of international agreements and recommendations, e.g. the Basel Capital Adequacy AccordBasel Capital Adequacy Accord. The statutory provisions are supplemented by codes of conduct and recommendations that the banks impose on themselves as a self-regulatory measure (www.swissbanking.org/home/allgemein.htm).

 

The Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) (www.sfbc.ch) grants banking licenses and is responsible for supervising banks.

Banking statistics: data and analysis

 

The financial intermediaries that are subject to the Federal Act on Banks and Saving Banks (German: www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c952_0.html; French: www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/c952_0.html) are obliged to report data on their balance sheet, income statement, capital and liquidity to the SNB. The SNB publishes the data in aggregated form – i.e. for the bank categories – in its statistical yearbook Banks in SwitzerlandBanks in Switzerland and in the Monthly Bulletin of Banking StatisticsMonthly Bulletin of Banking Statistics. The continuous analysis of the state and stability of Switzerland’s banking sector is contained in the SNB’s annual Financial Stability ReportFinancial Stability Report.

 

. "Swiss National Bank." . . Swiss National Bank. 1.31.08 <http://www.snb.ch/en>.