Why Switzerland?

"Switzerland’s financial centre is among the most successful and diverse in the world, combining tradition and expertise built up over generations with a pioneering spirit of innovation. The banks have both strong local roots and outstanding international networks. They play a key role in ensuring that the financial centre remains competitive and stable." 

Private wealth management - Switzerland is the global leader

Switzerland continues to be viewed by international investors around the world as a safe place - perhaps the safest place - to hold assets for global investment management diversification and long-term preservation. An uninterrupted policy of solid political stability and monetary security, a strong currency, a sophisticated financial system and highest-quality wealth management services have made Switzerland a reliable safe haven for investors. 

Swiss institutions have a considerable lead in the differentiating factors of quality and performance: almost no other location can offer such comprehensive, high-quality and competent asset management that is diversified in terms of cultures and languages. Digital transformation and sustainable finance are important topics for the future and the Swiss financial center is also very well positioned to meet the growing needs of private clients. In view of geopolitical uncertainties, Switzerland also has an advantage thanks to its high degree of reliability.

The influential Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch rating agencies issue Switzerland a AAA-rating with a stable outlook. While other countries, regions and financial institutions around the world are being downgraded, Switzerland has become a point of envy as the woes of Europe and the world have grown. The country's solid triple-A status appears to be immune to the happenings around its border nations. Switzerland's neutrality provides a shelter from political turmoil.

Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Low inflation rates, low capital costs, a good investment climate and solid purchasing power make the Swiss economy one of the most innovative, liberal and competitive in the world. The country’s gross domestic product is considerably above the EU average.

Because of the country's small size and high labor specialization, industry, trade and the service sector are key to Switzerland's economic livelihood. Switzerland has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with low unemployment rates and a balanced budget. Taxation is rather low; there are barriers to getting a resident permit and citizenship; the healthcare system is a blended mechanism; and a sensible retirement model all combine to offer no real threat to the triple-A rating.

"Made in Switzerland" means excellent quality

The four core values of the Swiss financial center are stability, universality, responsibility and excellence. They have formed the cornerstones of Swiss banking for generations and are the reason why the country’s financial center is so successful.

Stability

Stability is a hallmark of the Swiss financial center. Switzerland’s financial center, its reliable legal system and political institutions, and its sound currency make it a “safe haven” for individuals and companies from all over the world. While Swiss banks operate globally, they remain firmly rooted in their home market. 

Universality

Switzerland’s financial center is culturally diverse and offers a complete range of products and services for customers of every nationality and wealth category and meets the broadest possible spectrum of customer needs. Thanks to a highly trained, multilingual and open-minded staff, the professionals are able to provide outstanding advice. 

Responsibility

Everything the Swiss financial center does is driven by respect for the individual and the ethical and moral standards of the social systems in which they operate. These standards must be respected and defended. A very high bar is set when it comes to conduct towards customers, society, staff and the environment. Binding rules have been established governing how day-to-day business is continuously assessed, reviewed and improved. In dealing with international organizations, the Swiss financial industry makes the case for practically oriented rules and adheres to global standards. 

Excellence

With the most talented, capable and ambitious staff, tried-and-tested and innovative methods, and the best available systems, the Swiss financial center ensures the very highest standards of quality. They are founded on the age-old tradition of the Swiss financial center but also open and flexible in addressing the changing needs of today's customers and society. 

Swiss wealth management expertise is sought after and respected, thanks to intensive education and training, innovation and the highest standards of quality and integrity. Swiss wealth management is based on tried and proven methods and strategies, and with many years of experience in international investing, Swiss wealth managers are the world’s leaders in cross-border wealth management and private banking.

Global leader for private cross border wealth management

Wealth management is the Swiss financial center’s leading area of expertise. It encompasses the provision of comprehensive financial services for private individuals and the management of their assets. The banks in Switzerland had assets under management totaling CHF 7,893.4 bn at the end of 2019. This represents an increase of CHF 959.8 bn or 13.8% year-on-year. The share of non-resident customer assets remained virtually unchanged at 47.6%. Switzerland is the global market leader in cross-border wealth management, accounting for about a quarter of global assets managed cross-border. It also offers a first-class environment for digital innovation, while its regulatory system is recognized internationally as exemplary. Swiss banks have significantly increased their capital and liquidity buffers over recent years, and they are well equipped to handle uncertainties.

SWISS RESILIENCE

In 2020, despite the coronacrisis and its ongoing impact, Fitch has renewed Switzerland's AAA-rating with a stable outlook. The Deep Knowledge Group in its Covid-19 Regional Safety Assessment ranks Switzerland first for its economic resilience and its careful approach. And overall, the annual rating by an American think tank made up of the US News & World Report, marketing company Y&R and the Wharton School, a business school at the University of Pennsylvania, places Switzerland above average in several categories - from conducting business to quality of life - the neutral alpine nation has been on top of their list every time since it was founded in 2016.

White Money strategy

As long ago as 2009, the Swiss financial center declared a white money strategy and provides legal and compliant financial services with a commitment to complying with all taxation-related, international standards. All of the key international standards (e.g. tax compliance, capital requirements) are adhered to.

Tough capital requirements

Swiss financial institutions maintain the toughest capital requirements and continue to be the safest in the world. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA regularly add a stricter "Swiss finish" to international regulations and provisions.

Privacy, confidentiality and discretion in a transparent world

Privacy, confidentiality and discretion, especially in regard to money matters, is a highly sensitive subject and therefore requires the highest level of safety measures that can be obtained, despite increasing transparency in tax matters. You want to limit the number of individuals that have knowledge of your financial transactions to an absolute minimum. Read more about bank client confidentiality. Swiss wealth managers have an ingrained respect for privacy and handle all financial matters with utmost discretion.

Swiss francs

While the Swiss franc historically still remains the world's strongest currency and continues to be sought after as a safe haven currency, your Swiss SEC-registered investment adviser can diversify amongst a basket of international currencies including the US dollar.

Your future financial well-being

Today more than ever before, the long-term political, economic and financial stability of countries, economies, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions is a crucial factor when investing your funds with the goal of long-term wealth preservation and growth. 

With a Swiss SEC-registered investment adviser you can establish an investment portfolio suiting your preferences and needs, complementing the investment strategy you have in the US. No hectic moves, no panicky fleeing…just a forward-thinking, well thought-out and sensible strategy for your future financial well-being.

Partial text source: swissbanking.org Swiss Bankers Association

Doug Casey
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