'No bank exodus' after attacks on secrecy
The Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland said Wednesday that there has not been an exodus of banks, despite attacks on the country's banking secrecy rules.
"There has not been an exodus of foreign banks," said the association, a group of 153 financial institutions including HSBC Private Bank, Bank Sarasin, Credit Agricole and RBS Coutts Bank.
Switzerland came under pressure from its neighbours and other trading partners such as the United States over its banking secrecy rules. It has since agreed to offer more aid to foreign authorities seeking to catch tax cheats.
Nevertheless, the country has managed to keep its foreign banks, and many are offering more services.
"More and more foreign banks are offering their services for financing of companies, transactions on capital markets or e-banking, particularly in the Zurich region," said the group, whose members make up haklf the banks operating in the country.
Overall profits of the 153 foreign banks fell 4.3 percent last year to 1.965 billion francs (€1.61 billion).
Assets under management fell 7.1 percent to 910 billion francs, due mainly to negative exchange rates.