English in Banking blog

FIDLEG – A sneak peek at potential ordinance changes and implications

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Summer vacations are over and temperatures outside are slowly falling to autumn levels. In contrast, the heat is steadily rising for banks, with the Financial Services Act (FinSA/ German: FIDLEG) expected to come into force on 1 January 2020. The Federal Department of Finance (FDF) will ask the Federal Council to bring FIDLEG and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA/ German: FINIG) - together with the Federal Council's implementing ordinances - into force on that date. A transition period of two years is anticipated (source: SIF). However, some voices are calling for an initial transition period of one year only, which will force banks to return to their initial project timeline.

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Posted on 22/10/2019 | 0 Comments

BREAKING NEWS: Swiss-US double tax treaty protocol ratified and FATCA group requests expected at any time


On 20 September 2019, the final step to bring the 2009 protocol to the Swiss-US double tax treaty into force was executed when government representatives exchanged the instruments of ratification. The protocol is applicable with immediate effect and among other things allows the IRS to make group requests under FATCA concerning non-consenting US accounts and non-consenting NPFFIs.

In this blog, we highlight the top 5 challenges and top 5 tips for a Swiss financial institution (FI) in anticipation of the FATCA group requests.

See our prior blog post to find out what other changes the protocol has brought.

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Posted on 23/09/2019

DAC6 impacts multinational groups across all industries – here’s why!


With the summer holidays coming to an end, it is the perfect time to continue or start thinking about how the latest amendment to the EU’s Directive on Administrative Cooperation (“DAC6”) impacts your organisation and initiate the necessary steps to ensure operational readiness in anticipation of the first reporting in summer 2020.

Many people are surprised when they hear that DAC6 affects not only tax advisors, lawyers and financial services providers, but also multinational groups across all industries (even if headquartered in Switzerland). In this blog, which is part of a series, we provide examples of how multinational groups could be involved in reportable arrangements, discuss reporting obligations, and share our views on what should be done next.

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Posted on 2/09/2019 | 0 Comments

Banking going to Cloud – International Regulations

Cloud part 2
In our recent published global paper “Getting Cloud Right – How can banks stay ahead of the curve?” we explained the key components of a successful cloud journey and the major steps that need to be undertaken.
In this blog we give some insights on international regulations that may impact the use of cloud services in Switzerland – the US CLOUD Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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Posted on 8/08/2019 | 0 Comments

Join our event to get ready for FATCA group requests – on 5th of September in Zurich and 12th of September in Geneva.


Register and join our event “Getting ready for FATCA group requests” on 5th of September in Zurich and 12th of September in Geneva.

We will provide useful background information, practical advice on the applicable requirements as well as tips on how to best prepare in anticipation of the FATCA group request.

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Posted on 6/08/2019 | 0 Comments

The surprising longevity of negative interest rates: What now for Swiss retail banks?


Negative interest rates were meant to be a temporary emergency measure - just like ultra-low interest rates. Once the financial crisis had passed interest rate rises would surely come, as they always had. But nothing is as permanent as a temporary government programme, as the economist Milton Friedman observed. Ultra-low interest rates have been in place now for 11 years and negative rates for 4 years.

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Posted on 5/08/2019 | 0 Comments

Process Mining and Digital Discovery in banking – monetising your operational data

Becoming a truly insight-driven organisation

In most industries, executives would object to retaining assets in their company that are not utilised, such as an employee not given any tasks or a factory left idle. In the banking industry, however, firms often do not make use of one of their most valuable assets: their data − specifically, all the data generated by the ongoing business, which could tell a story about how efficiently certain processes are executed, where the operating model has imbalances, where process delays are a common, and which process failures or breakdowns impact negatively on their customers’ experience and overall satisfaction.

In recent years, virtually all incumbents in the global banking market have embarked on major transformation programmes to become insight-driven, customer-centric and more agile in adapting to recent market trends. It remains to be seen which players will lead the way, which will follow and which will get lost on the way. Those that fall behind with their efforts at transformation will find themselves less competitive on asset utilisation, with a lower level of automation, and with less transparency in their processes and organisation.

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Posted on 29/07/2019 | 0 Comments

Join our Business Travellers Event to discuss challenges in the Financial Services Industry on 11 September, Geneva


Register and join our Business Travellers Event with a focus on the Financial Services Industry on Wednesday, 11 September 2019 in Geneva. We will discuss the current regulatory and compliance landscape for international business travellers.

What is the event about? 

  • Global trends driving increased risk in relation to business travel;
  • The growing regulatory burden on employers and employees, and the increased efforts by authorities to enforce these regulations;
  • Steps employers are taking to monitor business travel risks and improve governance; and
  • Current market best practice - prioritising compliance risks, quantifying costs and addressing duty of care considerations;
  • Permanent establishment risks in relation to business travel.

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Posted on 23/07/2019 | 0 Comments

BREAKING NEWS: US Senate approves Swiss-US double tax treaty protocol


On July 17, 2019, the US Senate approved the long-overdue 2009 protocol to the Swiss-US double tax treaty, the core element of which concerns administrative assistance.

Formally, the protocol will enter into force once the instruments of ratification are exchanged, which is likely to happen in the course of the coming months.

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Posted on 18/07/2019 | 0 Comments

Five things a private bank should do today


In a series of blogs we have highlighted how Swiss private banking executives see the future of wealth management in 2030 and discussed the implications. In this blog we outline a number of key steps that in our view every private bank should be taking today.

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Posted on 17/07/2019 | 0 Comments