AFBS - About Us
The Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland AFBS was founded in 1972. It is, next to the Swiss Bankers' Association SBA, the banking association in Switzerland with the largest number of members. On 14 June 2022, the Association will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The AFBS is represented on the Board of the Swiss Bankers' Association SBA and in nearly all its Steering Groups, Commissions and Committees. The AFBS is also represented on the board of the SIX Group, where the foreign banks account for an important share in trading volume and are an important shareholder. The Association is furthermore represented on the boards of economiesuisse, the Depositor Protection Scheme esisuisse, the Bank Employers' Association, the Swiss Finance Institute, and the Geneva Financial Centre Foundation.
The Association has 104 members: 64 members are affiliates of a foreign bank; 23 are branches. In addition, some foreign-owned non-bank services providers are members and a few Swiss banks and financial institutions are observers, which gives them access to the Association’s information and events.
The majority of AFBS Members are headquartered in Zürich, Geneva and Lugano. Some banks are domiciled in Basel, St.Gallen, Bellinzona and many have branches in other locations across Switzerland.
AFBS Members are international banks. This is reflected in their business activities which focus predominantly on international clients. The global network of the foreign banks is a major asset for their clients in Switzerland, both in private and corporate or institutional business.
The Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland is an association as defined under Art. 60ss. of the Swiss Civil Code (CC). The rights and obligations of the members and the Association’s bodies, as well as the purpose of the Association, are regulated/defined in the Articles of Association.
AFBS News is published five times a year in English. It offers an insight into legal and regulatory
developments from the perspective of foreign banks in Switzerland. AFBS News is available to all
To subscribe for the AFBS Newsletter click here.
AFBSecure - Members' Only Information
All employees of the AFBS Members have access to AFBSecure, the members-only area which is password-protected and offers a wide range of information and reference documents, events and meetings.
As an employee of an AFBS Member you are entitled to free access to AFBSecure, the AFBS members-only website. You can register as an AFBS User and receive your personal login here: Registration
In your profile you can define your preferences in order to receive alerts on AFBS Publications and invitations to forthcoming AFBS Events.
One of the main activities of the Association’s Secretariat is to provide information to the AFBS Members. Information covers various topics relating to legal and regulatory matters in the area of banking and finance. The focus of interest is on Swiss matters and international topics which impact the Swiss financial centre in some way. In general, publications are issued in English:
- AFBS Info: Provides relevant information and updates in the areas of Legal & Compliance, Tax, Sustainable Finance, Human Resources, Digitalisation & Cybersecurity, Accounting & Risk Management and a special summary AFBS Info to the CEO.
- AFBS Summaries: In its monitoring work, the AFBS Secretariat prepares summaries of reports and publications of financial centre bodies. These summaries provide a succinct overview but can never replace a careful reading of the original documents themselves.
- AFBS Surveys: From time to time the AFBS conducts surveys on topics of relevance to the AFBS Members. Past and ongoing surveys are published here. Thank you for your participation.
- AFBS Checklist Regulatory: With the support of EY the AFBS prepares a synopsis of regulatory developments. It is updated twice a year and published in German, French and English.
- Brussels Weekly News: An international law firm provides a weekly one-pager on relevant EU-Swiss topics.
- Third-Party Offers: Listing of special offers that may be of interest to the AFBS members.
AFBS Events & Meetings
The AFBS organises numerous events throughout the year. They cover various topics which impact the foreign banks in Switzerland. Beyond legal and regulatory as well as tax matters, events deal with topics such as digital banking and cyber security, sustainable finance, human resources, training and education.
AFBS Events come in the format of Conferences and Roundtables. Participation is open to all employees of AFBS Members and is free of charge. They take place on-site in Geneva, Lugano and Zürich or through video-conferences.
- AFBS Conferences: Presentation by expert guest speakers on regulatory and strategic topics, in Geneva, Zürich and Lugano, or through video-conferences.
- AFBS Roundtables: Ad-hoc discussion groups on topical matters, depending on regulatory developments, interest and suggestions from member banks. In Geneva, Zurich and Lugano, or through video-conferences.
- AFBS Groups: Standing groups meeting in regular intervals to discuss topics of concern and share views and experience: Legal & Compliance, Human Resources, Trade Finance (Geneva), Corporate & Investment Banking (Zürich), AFBS Group Lugano, AFBS Group Retail (Geneva).
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings can no longer take place and some AFBS Groups suspended their activities. Activities will be resumed in an adequate format as soon as the situation allows.
The AFBS Board consists of at least eight persons who are in the top management of the AFBS Members. Board Members are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term, which is renewable. The Board itself nominates a Chairman, two Vice Chairmen and a Treasurer. The Chairmen ensure representation of the AFBS on the Board of the Swiss Bankers' Association. The Board sets out positions on strategic/conceptual issues and defines the Association's strategy accordingly. It represents the standpoint of the foreign banks with regard to political, economic, legal, and regulatory matters, and takes a public position on topical issues. It ensures contact with key institutions of the Swiss financial centre and shares insights on the specific challenges foreign banks in Switzerland are facing. It further nominates representatives to the various commissions and working groups.
Chief Executive Officer
Schroder & Co Bank AG
Chief Country Officer Société Générale Switzerland,
Chairman SGPrivate Banking Switzerland, CEO
SGCIB Swiss Branch, Genève et Zurich
Chief Executive Officer
Mauro de Stefani
Präsident der Generaldirektion
Banca Popolare di Sondrio (Suisse) SA
Chief Executive Officer
J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA
Chief Executive Officer
Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG
Head of International Private Bank EMEA, CEO
Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.
Citi Country Officer, Switzerland, Monaco & Liechtenstein
Citibank (Switzerland) AG
Head of Territory for BNP Paribas Group Switzerland
BNPP (Suisse) SA
Gabriel Castello (coopted)
CEO HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA
Regional Head EMEA Global Private Banking
Country Head Switzerland
Laurent Gagnebin (coopted)
Chief Executive Officer Rothschild & Co Bank AG
Alfredo Gysi (AFBS Chairman 1999-2014)
Guy Teulings, Head Group Consolidation & Reporting, Habib Bank AG Zurich
Georgiana Solanet, Directeur financier, Crédit Agricole nextbank (Suisse) SA
Ivan Mattei, Deputy General Manager, Banca Zarattini & Co
The Secretariat carries out the administrative work of the AFBS as directed by the Board and the General Assembly. The Secretariat consists of a team of three and is located in the centre of Zürich.
Members of the Secretariat
The Association is represented in the various organs, commissions and working groups of national bodies by experts of the member institutions. The Association Secretariat provides administrative support of their work and liaises with the AFBS Board, AFBS Groups and other AFBS Members.
- Representation of the AFBS in Commissions and Committees of the SBA and other financial centre institutions.
- Representation of the foreign banks vis-à-vis the FINMA, the SNB and the Federal Administration.
- Presentation of points of interest to the various bodies.
Swiss Bankers’ Association
|Governing Board||Adrian Nösberger||Schroder & Co Bank AG|
|Committee of the Governing Board||Adrian Nösberger
||Schroder & Co Bank AG|
||BBVA (Suiza) SA
|Steering Group Capital Markets||vacant
|Steering Group Private Banking||vacant|
|Steering Group Retail Banking||Mauro de Stefani||Banca Popolare di Sondrio (Suisse) SA|
|Expert Committee Sustainable Finance||Sabrina-Janna Zeyher
||HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA
|Expert Committee Digitalisation||André Lagger||LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.|
|Training Commission||Jonathan Deneys||Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland|
|Commission on Legal & Compliance Matters KORECO||René Schwab||Goldman Sachs Bank AG|
|Commission on Financial Market Regulation and Accounting||Dieter Semling||LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.|
|Commission on Tax Matters STEKO||Bernhard Schopper||HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA|
|Board of Directors||Soren Mose||independent|
|SIX Regulatory Board||Garrick Dean Smith||BNP Paribas, Paris, succursale de Zurich|
|Cash Market Advisory Board of the SIX Swiss Exchange||Stefan Zimmermann||BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA|
Other Associations and Institutions
|esisuisse Depositor Protection (Board)||Laurence Luyet-Slappnig
||BNP Paribas, Paris, succursale de Zurich|
|Employers' Association of the Banks in Switzerland (Board)||Gottlieb Prack||LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.|
|Swiss Finance Institute SFI (Board)||Alfonso Gomez
||BBVA (Suiza) SA
|Fondation Genève Place Financière||Marc-André Poirier
||CA Indosuez (Switzerland) SA|
|Fondation Genève Place Financière||Peter Gabriele||J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA|
The Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland admits the following, foreign-owned, FINMA-supervised institutions as active members:
- banks as well as branches and agents in Switzerland of foreign banks;
- wealth management companies, trustees, securities houses;
- managers, management companies and agents of collective investment schemes.
Other legal or natural persons who identify with the Association’s goals but do not fulfil the above criteria, qualify for passive membership, and can obtain Observer status. They benefit from the same access to AFBS Info and participation in AFBS Events, but do not have the right of vote and eligibility at the Association's General Assembly.
Interested in becoming a member?
Membership contribution: INFO
Application for membership: DOC
50 Years AFBS
A special event
commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Foreign Banks in
Switzerland AFBS. The event took place on Tuesday, 14th June 2022 at the Landesmuseum in Zürich
and offered the opportunity to exchange and network with professionals around the present
situation and the outlook of the Swiss Financial Centre. Key representatives of the Swiss
financial centre shared their views and discussed opportunities for the development and
strengthening of the financial centre. The moderated panel discussion offered food for thought,
invited participants to get involved and continued reflections during the ensuing informal
50 years association of foreign banks in Switzerland - a long or a short timespan? Very short if compared with the establishment of the "first foreign bank" in Switzerland in 1425 in Geneva by Cosimo de' Medici. Still short if compared with the establishment of the oldest foreign bank still present in Switzerland in 1872. A lot of things have happened in that "short" fifty years. Have a look at the anniversary video which gives you a quick overview.