Late last year, the Federal Council decided on the strategic development of its financial market policy. Switzerland’s established strengths, such as stability, security and trust, are to be combined with openness to new developments in digitalisation and sustainable finance.
A strong financial centre is vital for the Swiss economy
The rapid pace of technological change and the changing international environment call for strategic development in Swiss financial market policy. This is vital if Switzerland is to remain one of the world’s leading financial centres in the future and retain its appeal as an international business location.
In its report on financial market policy, the Federal Council laid out its plans for creating the conditions for a future-proof Swiss financial centre by means of three key qualities: ‘innovative’, ‘interconnected’ and ‘sustainable’.
- Innovative: All financial centre players need to be able to exploit the many possibilities offered by new technologies to the full. For this reason, the Federal Council is focusing on a technology-neutral regulatory framework and promoting innovation in the financial sector. This is intended to encourage standardisation and the opening of interfaces both within the sector and between the state and business.
- Interconnected: In a changing international environment, the Federal Council remains committed to open markets and the representation of Switzerland’s interests both in multilateral bodies and with its bilateral partners. This is intended to communicate Switzerland’s locational advantages to the rest of the world. The Federal Council will also ensure the attractive, internationally compatible conditions and pragmatic solutions that will preserve Switzerland’s global reach as a financial centre in the future.
- Sustainable: The Federal Council has recognised the great potential of a sustainable Swiss financial centre and aims to further expand Switzerland’s position as a leading location for sustainable financial services. The Federal Council has therefore instructed the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF), in close cooperation with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), to further consolidate and expand measures in the areas of transparency and risk assessment and to propose legislative amendments where necessary. The framework conditions will be designed to ensure that the Swiss financial centre continuously improves its competitive edge and makes an effective contribution to sustainability. With this, the Federal Council is putting a greater focus on sustainability and, together with the relevant authorities, will ensure the fundamental stability of the sector, the integrity of the financial centre – which includes effective control of financial crime and other risks – and greater transparency in investment, especially with a view to climate change.
The Federal Council has its finger firmly on the pulse with the three stated qualities: ‘innovative’, ‘interconnected’ and ‘sustainable’. It is creating a Swiss financial centre that is interconnected, shaping the regulatory framework, standardising and opening up interfaces and ensuring sustainability. Because only by remaining innovative and interconnected and aligning with the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda can a financial centre stay future-proof.