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Swiss Private Banking M&A Noise Level Rises Post-Pandemic

Tom Burroughes

29 June 2020

Wealth managers in Switzerland are pursuing private bankers to snap up assets in an increasingly Darwinian marketplace created by COVID-19 and the yield-squeezing impact of negative interest rates, a senior figure in the industry says.

Switzerland’s roster of registered banks shrank to 248 at the end of 2018, according to the Swiss Bankers Association, declining from more than 300 a decade before. A crackdown in the Alpine state’s decades-old secrecy laws, rising regulatory costs and negative official interest rates (-75 basis points) have hit margins. The SBA, for example, has warned that negative Swiss rates are causing major problems. 

And with the hit from the pandemic, the economic and business outlook in Switzerland is going to be a tough one for some time, but demand for help and advice on M&A is actually rising, Ray Soudah, who founded , the Swiss regulator, might strip the controversy-hit Falcon of its bank licence in the Alpine state.