The trends described above will shape the environment for Swiss financial market policy and the Swiss financial centre for the years to come. In terms of the ambition stated at the outset, this yields three strategic thrusts for financial market policy.
Strategic thrust: innovative for excellence in financial services
Given the extent of technological change, both financial policy and international and location-related tax policy face particular challenges in creating favourable conditions for innovation. The Federal Council wants to be actively involved in this technological change and digitalisation, and to create conditions that will enable Switzerland to establish itself as an international leader. New measures on taxing the digital economy, as well as the framework conditions for digital business models in financial sector, the management of data and the interfaces between authorities, institutions and customers will be reviewed. At the same time, efforts in the area of prevention and mitigation of new risks (e.g. cyber-risks) will have the highest priority. Switzerland should be perceived as a secure and trustworthy location with integrity for the safekeeping of assets, especially those in the form of electronic data.
Strategic thrust: interconnected for a strong Swiss position in the world
As a medium-sized, open and highly productive economy, Switzerland is reliant on and committed to, international interconnectedness and open markets – especially in the financial sector. Switzerland should remain an attractive location for globally active financial institutions in the future. In this regard, it favours international recognition of equivalent national conditions and the principle of a level playing field. Regulations for big banks and insurers are attractively designed and aligned with international best practice. The Federal Council is committed to maintaining the high degree of value added by the financial centre and the possibility of offering high-quality financial services in Switzerland to the rest of the world. It is crucial to influence relevant international standards, in order to ensure the international competitiveness of Switzerland's financial institutions. At the same time, as a European location, it is important for Switzerland to maintain and foster relations with its neighbours, with the EU and with the UK post-Brexit. The global challenges require Switzerland to actively nurture its relations with partners both within and outside Europe.
Strategic thrust: sustainable for qualitative growth
Providing citizens and businesses with excellent financial services and payment systems has top priority. To achieve this, the Federal Council sets out the regulatory conditions so as to ensure the stability and functionality of financial institutions and the financial system. This also requires well-performing and innovative central financial market infrastructures, and appropriate handling of the risks stemming from systemically important institutions. At the same time, the security and integrity of the financial system must be ensured at all times. To this end, Switzerland is instituting arrangements that comply with the highest international standards on combating corruption, terrorist financing, money laundering and other financial crimes, especially the financing of human trafficking, the drugs trade and illegal arms trafficking. The Federal Council wants to further reinforce Switzerland's position as a leading location for sustainable financial services. Long-term risks should be taken into account, sustainable conditions for efficient and risk-based pricing and transparency mechanisms created, thus making the associated financial and insurance products attractive. In this way, the financial centre should, firstly, contribute to achieving the sustainability goals under the 2030 Agenda both in Switzerland and abroad and, secondly, ensure its own future viability and competitiveness.
Last modification 22.01.2021