Is this why you should move to Switzerland?

Switzerland offers the highest standard of living in Europe, a new study shows. Here's why.

Is this why you should move to Switzerland?
File photo: AFP

It's no secret that wages are high in Switzerland, but so are the costs.

Zurich and Geneva, along with London, are the only European cities to come out more expensive than New York City, a study published on Thursday by US-based economic research firm Glassdoor shows.  

But the report also shows the country offers the best standard of living in Europe – even after factoring in the high price of renting, food and transport.

Nominal wages in Switzerland are €72,000 (79,000 Swiss francs), higher than second place-getter Norway (€61,000) and bronze medal winner Denmark (€56,000), according to the report.

At the other end of the scale are Estonia, where nominal wages are €13,000, Portugal (€15,500) and Greece €18,500.

A comparison of purchasing power parity, meanwhile, shows average wages in Switzerland, Ireland, and Norway are equivalent to around €42,000. That’s twice as high as the figure for Estonia.

SEE ALSO: The 'richest' regions in Switzerland 

Taking it one step further, once tax is taken into account, Switzerland still comes out top.

“What matters ultimately for standard of living is the gap between take-home pay and price levels. Switzerland and Denmark take the top two spots,” the report’s authors show.

In fact, average city-based workers in Switzerland can afford to buy twice as much as workers in New York, the study concludes.

Another 2015 study carried out by Swiss bank UBS showed that residents of the cities of Zurich and Geneva had both the highest purchasing power and the highest wages in the world.

That same study found, however, that Zurich was the second most expensive city in the world behind New York City while Geneva was the world’s third priciest city.


Julius Bär invests in new Italian bank

Julius Bär, the Zurich-based private bank, is joining forces with Kairos Investment Management in Italy to establish a new private bank.

Julius Bär invests in new Italian bank
Photo: Sporst

The Swiss bank announced on Monday that it had reached an agreement with Kairos to create a new “onshore wealth management player”.

The Italian wealth manager has around €4.5 billion of assets under management.

Julius Bär said it plans to integrate its Italian SIM subsidiary into Kairos, while taking a 19.9-percent share of Kairos.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

Separately the partners have agreed to apply for a banking licence after the deal is closed.

Under the agreement all Italian wealth management activities of the two groups will be run under the name Kairos Julius Bär.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Swiss bank said the deal will “significantly strengthen Julius Bär’s long-term position in Italy”.

Meanwhile, the bank showed another aspect of its Italian connection in Geneva on Friday when it sponsored a gala event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of movie producer Carlo Ponti.

The event at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices also honoured Italian actress Sophia Loren, who appeared with her two sons.

Loren, 78, a resident of Geneva, was married to Ponti, who died in Geneva in 2007 at the age of 95.

At the event she credited Ponti, whom she met when she was 16, for helping fulfill a dream she could have never fulfilled alone, Le Matin newspaper reported.

The private event was attended by 450 guests, according to the report.