Switzerland’s bankers are less optimistic about their business than they were a year ago according to accountancy firm Ernst & Young.
Out of 120 banks (not including Credit Suisse and UBS) that were polled, only 15 per cent have a truly positive outlook, whereas more than half of those surveyed for the previous banking barometer fell into this category.
Nearly one third of those polled considered their outlook negative, a rate that climbs to 40 per cent for private and foreign banks.
These institutions are facing a more competitive market, with stronger regulation and lower margins. At the same time, they say that revenue is shrinking. However, they are generally not concerned that clients will withdraw funds if new tax treaties are approved, even if banking secrecy suffers.
The financial crisis remains high among concerns for the banks polled, the main consequences being low interest rates, political and regulatory pressure as well as investor mistrust.
A strong majority of bankers also consider the national bank’s intervention on the currency market to support the franc positive, although more than half of them would like to see a higher peg to the euro.