Chronology 2014-2015



42nd Ordinary General Assembly The General Assembly offered the opportunity to present the results of the work streams developed since the inception of the project on the future of Private Banking Swiss Style. It has become apparent that the expectations of clients considerably evolved and that the relationship manager needs to have new skills in order to respond: the relationship manager becomes a trusted partner guiding the client through the complexity of international financial markets. A training programme was developed and dispensed several times – upon request from Swiss and foreign banks it is now being transferred into an independent institution and will become available to the entire Swiss financial centre.

Financial Transaction Tax Italy After France, Italy also introduces its financial transaction tax. Rules slightly differ and apply from March and September 2013 according to the type of security; it is levied on all Italian securities, irrespective of the trading venue, place of execution or residence of the counterparty. Rates vary according to the whether the trade is executed on a regulated trading venue or not. It is levied with the recognised financial intermediary involved in the transaction. Swiss financial institutions cannot be considered as such since the country continues to be blacklisted by Italy. The speakers present the rules and their practical application. Several questions are discussed with regard to the treatment of international investors active out of Switzerland. V.Rovida, O.M.Zonga, U.Bonaugurio, P.L.Dimonopoli, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Milan.


AFBS Group FATCA In the context of the AFBS Group FATCA, which accompanies foreign banks in the implementation of the FATCA regime, a special session is organised with a conference by Julia Mills, PEQ Ltd. As a certified public accountant and QI and FATCA expert she gives banks an insight into the technical complexity of the FATCA regime and clarifies numerous open questions. J.Mills, PEQ Ltd., Zürich.


AFBS Roundtable: Operational Risks The meeting follows up on a previous presentation of the revised FINMA Circular Operational Risks and in particular its Annex 3: Client Data Protection. The speaker outlines how to implement the highly complex and cumbersome regulation in a practical manner. The requirements have been defined upon specific incidents of data theft and data loss and thus make difficult a general application. Extensive adaptations at the level of internal organisation allow for an implementation that can be adapted to the individual bank and its internal organisation. The discussion among participants allows for exchange of views, identification of points of concern and sharing of solutions. T.Schmidt, Ernst&Young, Zürich.


AFBS Roundtable: draft AFBS Comments Financial Services Law The AFBS invites its members to Roundtables in view of discussing the draft comments on the financial services law that has been published for comments during the summer. The AFBS regrets that prior to drafting the final law there was no discussion about fundamental questions on the strategic positioning of the Swiss financial centre; it also considers that the draft law excessively focuses on past omissions in regulation and lacks to define the grounds upon which the future of the financial centre can be developed. The AFBS agrees with most comments in that all financial intermediaries, including independent wealth managers should be subject to prudential supervision. It also speaks in favour of pursuing reflections about training and certification standards for relationship managers. AFBS Secretariat.

AFBS Conference: To "3" or not to "3" - the next DoJ program step The speakers, who are two US tax specialists, explain the procedure a bank needs to follow in order to assess whether it needs to apply for category 3 participation under the US Program or may renounce from participating altogether. The technical presentation is followed by a lengthy discussion with numerous questions from the participants. M.C. Durney, Tax Attorney and US associate, Washington D.C.; S.E. Kraft, associate, IER Independent Examiner Reporting AG, Zürich.


Risk Profiling – Measuring Risk Preferences The customer risk profiling is often based upon standardised questionnaires and evaluation procedures. To obtain a result which more truthfully reflects the real situation of the customer a consultancy has developed a tool that allows to estimate the person's risk preference and to compare it with the information provided on the bank questionnaire. A comparison between the client's answers on the bank forms and those provided to the assessment tool allow a more secure assessment of its effective willigness and ability to support risks.A. Bruhin, Lausanne University, Lausanne; Y. Schneider, Polynomics, Olten.


CEO Lunches A first round of CEO Lunches takes place in Geneva and Zürich. The events aim at strengthening the relation between the Board and the other member banks. President and vice-President of the AFBS.

AFBS Group Retail Banking A group of foreign banks active in the retail banking market in the Suisse romande meet for a first exchange of views. The participants discussed the differing practice of cantonal authorities when registering real estate transactions financed by a foreign bank. Even though the law does not rule on the point, some cantons require evidence that the effective owner is a Swiss national. The offering of current account to cross-border workers in the Geneva, Basel and Lugano areas is another topic of discussion.

AFBS Group FATCA: meeting with independent consultant The AFBS FATCA Group Geneva invites Markus Weber to inform and discuss specific topics in relation with the implementation of FATCA in banks in Switzerland. The exchange of views focuses on questions such as the joint account solution, the identification and tasks of the reporting officer, the definition of relations and the attribution of liability with the external wealth managers and technical matters in relation with the reporting due in January 2015. M. Weber, K. Schubiger, Deloitte, Zürich.

AFBS Conference: Regulating Financial Advice – Old Requirements in a New Law? The Financial Services Law and the Financial Institutes Law aim at aligning the Swiss regulatory framework to the EU standards, in particular MiFID. Some say this is indispensable to obtain recognition of equivalence, others argue that most points are already enshrined in Swiss law. The careful analysis of the EU and the Swiss regulatory framework shows that many MiFID provisions are effectively contained in some way or another in Swiss law but that, contrary to the EU, the Swiss legislation is much more principle based and leaves the burden of concrete application to the individual firm. This may not in any case be considered as equivalent by the EU. U. Suter, A. Rieger, LCR Services AG, Zürich; Y. Lenoir, G. Gianella, BRP Partners, Geneva.


AFBS Group FATCA: meeting with the SBA tax expert A special meeting of the AFBS Group FATCA in Geneva is held to invite the person in charge of tax matters with the Swiss Bankers' Association, Urs Kapalle. He informs the Group on the developments in the realm of FATCA where several technical questions for the implementation remain pending and on the forthcoming common reporting standards about to be adopted by the OECD in view of implementation by the member countries. Switzerland declared participating in the automatic information exchange from 2018, which obliges banks to prepare their internal organisation and align clients. U. Kapalle, Swiss Bankers' Association.

AFBS Conference: EMIR in the EU – Financial Market Infrastructure Act, FMIA in Switzerland: Differences? Compatibility? Speakers from BNP Paribas Securities Services and from SIX Group present the respective legislation and their impact on financial intermediaries, first and foremost banks. One of the major concerns for the audience – Swiss and foreign banks in Switzerland – is the compatibility between the EU and the Swiss regime. Any Swiss Finish, however tiny, imposes an additional unnecessary burden upon the banks since they need to comply with both regimes in any case. This example clearly shows that it becomes increasingly difficult to run a separate show in markets where cross-border integration becomes standard. Th. Crémers, BNP Paribas Securites Services, Paris; R. Künzi, SIX Group, Zürich.

AFBS Conference: The OECD Common Reporting Standard Ante Portas Although there is agreement about the fact that the automatic information exchange will come, there is not so much clarity about what it look will like and what it means for financial intermediaries such as banks. The speakers made a link to the FATCA regime prior to explaining in depth the Common Reporting Standards and their implementation in Switzerland. They dedicated time to explaining commonalities and differences between the two regimes thus allowing banks to better understand the impact the new regime will have on their internal project management in a first and operations in a second stage. H.-J. Jaeger, J. Wack, EY, Zürich.


AFBS Roundtable: Client Data Protection The transition for implementation of the revised FINMA Circular Operational Risks and its annex 3: client data protection has expired. The speaker assesses the implementation procedure and challenges banks encountered during this period to discuss in-depth specific issues of the Circular. The points of interest comprised the ownership and storage of client identification data, the treatment of mass client identification data and the rules governing outsourcing – within Switzerland and across borders, within the same group and to third parties. V. Mäder, VMA & Partners Consulting, Zürich.


AFBS Conference: Commodity and Trade Finance – Under the International Sanctions Regime The speaker was invited to give an introduction to the Swiss sanctions regime and its application by international banks. It became clear very quickly that there is no such thing as a Swiss sanctions regime since sanctions deploy their effects globally. Thus Swiss banks need to take into account the US and EU sanctions as well as those formally adopted by the Federal Council. The speaker outlines the key legislation and sources where the government informs on the procedure when adopting sanctions in Switzerland. R. Vock, State Secretariat of Economic Affairs seco, Bern.

AFBS Conference: The Times They Are A-Changin’: Withholding Tax to Shift from Debtor to Paying Agent The Swiss tax at source scheme was a means to assure both tax honesty and protection of the private sphere. With the development towards automatic information exchange, pressure on any measure that may prevent tax transparency and endeavours to make the Swiss financial centre more attractive for international issuers and investors this Swiss-specific tax seems to come to the end of its life. The speakers explain what changes the proposed new regime brings and what tasks and duties financial intermediaries such as banks will face. F. Baumer, Swiss Federal Tax Administration; K. Häuptli, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA and member of the Swiss Bankers' Association's Tax Commission.

AFBS Roundtable: Sanctions in Trade Finance The roundtable allows representatives of foreign banks which offer trade finance services to discuss current points of concern. They discuss the extraterritorial applicability of national sanctions regimes and the increasingly heavy burden imposed upon firms when assuring full application of the different and often conflicting regimes. Another point of concern consists in the validity of contracts under evolving sanctions regimes since this may directly impact the economics of business transactions.


AFBS Conference: Growth beyond future tax regularisation in Latin America The speakers present the regularisation programme offered by Chile and Colombia, the first of Latin America to follow the European countries. They discuss their view on the further development in Latin America and comment the way in which a bank in Switzerland can accompany its Latin American customers on the road towards regularisation. The speakers cover both the legal and procedural aspects of a client's regularisation. This makes the process easier. J. Morera, K. Maziul, Broseta, Madrid and Zurich; A. Keller, R. Eduah, Noveras AG, Zürich.

AFBS Conference: Managing Risks in Providing International Financial Service: De-Mystifying (Inter-) national sanction regimes The international sanctions regime is an increasingly complex realm for firms and banks which are active across borders. This in particular because they cover both regulatory and economic activity. The speakers summarise the history of sanctions before delving into practical questions related to the effective application of sanctions. They focus on the extraterritorial application of EU and US sanctions and discuss how firms can mitigate related risks. E. Krauland, G. Soussan, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington D.C. and Brussels.



SIX Regulatory Panel: How Is FATCA Implemented In Switzerland? The AFBS Secretariat moderates the panel organised by SIX Financial Information which gives banks an insight into the state of play of the FATCA implementation and allows for discussion of major challenges. Major points of discussion comprise the possible links between the US Program and the FATCA, the treatment of new clients, the identification duties applicable to entities and the duties a bank in Switzerland has vis-à-vis its counterparties. The discussion and numerous questions from the audience revealed that challenges for Swiss banks and foreign banks in Switzerland are the same.

AFBS Comments: Revision of the FINMA Ordinance on Collective Investment Schemes The AFBS provides a short comment on the draft revision. It asks for a full alignment to EU standards of the Swiss regime governing master-feeder structures. It asks for a liberalisation of the Swiss master-feeder regime, allowing the constitution of cross-border master-feeder funds as possible within the EU. It bases this on the grounds that agreements on cooperation and exchange of information are in place with all EU-country supervisors. The FINMA rejected the proposal.


Friends of Funds: MiFID II and the Financial Services Law The AFBS Secretariat moderates a panel discussion on the two major legislative projects in the EU and Switzerland respectively. While the update of the MiFID is already known and about to be implemented Switzerland works on its own legislation of financial services. This is expected to also impact the funds industry as it plans to review the rules applicable to the point of sale. The funds industry, which is organised in a cross-border structure, hopes that Swiss rules are being aligned to the already known EU standards in order to ease business and prevent incompatibilities.

Training at the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana The AFBS Secretariat assures its annual teaching session in the business economics training of the SUPSI. During the session the activities of foreign banks in Switzerland and their contribution to the Swiss economy are discussed. With specific examples the impact of regulation onto business activities and onto the international attractiveness of Switzerland are illustrated. Case studies allow the students to apply the knowledge gained during the training session.

Panel Discussion at the Swiss Public Affairs Group SPAG lunch meeting in Bern The AFBS Secretariat presented five theses on the regulatory process and on over-regulation. Among other, a simple regulatory dichotomy instead of the prevailing one-size-fits-all approach was proposed, and a call for less entertainment and more content in the public discussion of financial market issues was made.

Meeting between the Directorate of the Swiss National Bank and the Board of the AFBS The discussion between the Directorate of the Swiss National Bank SNB and the AFBS delegation turned around the domestic situation of the mortgage market. The topic of most importance was the Euro crisis and the development of the Swiss Franc. The AFBS shortly touched upon the discussion on Switzerland establishing itself as a renminbi hub and on the desirability to have a Chinese bank in Switzerland.

China-Switzerland The AFBS Secretariat suggests to the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to demonstrate openness towards China. It supports the Minister's insistence on Switzerland's history as a place of exchange and of meeting, which used to make its infrastructure available for others to meet and do business. The AFBS insists on the fact that Switzerland can only continue to play this role if its borders remain open and it offers market access inbound even if its partner countries close their own markets.

Meeting with State Secretariat for International Finance President and Secretary General of the AFBS meet with the Head of the State Secretariat for International Finance. They aim at confirming the AFBS' and the foreign banks' strong support of the government's policy in view of positioning the Swiss financial centre as a centre of competence not only for private banking but also for international corporate and trade banking services. Therefore, the openness of Switzerland towards emerging economies and the settlement of banks from these countries are important for the future of the Swiss financial centre.

AFBS and the International Capital Markets Association The Secretariat participates in the discussions coordinated by the International Capital Markets Association ICMA in view of adopting a Private Banking Charter. The AFBS proposes to the ICMA to develop a concept that recognises the investment manager as a duly regulated entity serving qualified investors and not belonging to the retail segment.

China-Swiss Financial Roundtable: Discussion on foreign banks in Switzerland The AFBS Secretariat moderates a roundtable addressing the regulatory requirements and the authorisation procedure a Chinese bank needs to follow when establishing its presence in Switzerland. The panel makes clear that the same regulatory standards will apply to all banks, irrespective of their origin. On the other side, the discussion made clear that a slightly more cooperative attitude and more explanation about the requirements and their application would be appreciated by foreign applicants, which are not necessarily familiar with the local practice.

AFBS Group Investment Bank, Transaction and Securities Services Upon suggestion from member banks an exchange of views among interested banks offering corporate and securities services takes place. It appears that the offering and the regulatory challenges the individual banks are confronted with widely vary. Nevertheless, participants agree to pursue the exchange and provide input for the definition of common positions by the AFBS. It is important to insist on the diversity of activities foreign banks pursue in Switzerland.


AFBS presentation on the Swiss fund regulation to the German Funds Association BVI The AFBS Secretariat and a specialist lawyer participate in a one-day seminar organised by the German Funds Association. They present the revised Swiss legislation in the realm of collective investment schemes and in particular the impact this revision has on the distribution of foreign funds in Switzerland. The bilateral agreement which introduces notification instead of approval for foreign funds to be distributed in the partner country should have a positive impact on the presence of German fund promoters on the Swiss market.


AFBS Comments: Private Investment Companies as qualified investor The AFBS welcomes the proposal to confirm that private investment companies can themselves apply for the qualified investor status. It regrets that this possibility is restricted to those companies where all beneficial owners satisfy themselves the conditions as it fears that companies set up for families or large groups of persons no longer qualify. The status of the corporation with professional treasury remains available, but requires a minimum size.


Parliamentary Forum: Future of the Financial Centre The fifth meeting of the parliamentary forum focuses on the impact of the automatic information exchange on banks in Switzerland. Representatives from foreign banks, Swiss banks with domestic and international customers respectively present their view on the forthcoming regulatory standard. It becomes obvious that even a Swiss bank with only one foreign client will have to be compliant; also the standards on data to be exchanged should be common to all countries to prevent an excessive administrative burden for the individual bank.

Board Meeting in Paris – Exchange of views with the OECD The 2014 Board Meeting abroad took place in Paris on the premises of Société Générale. The main guest was Ms Grace Perez-Navarro, Deputy Head of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. She presented the Common Reporting Standard and what the OECD aims to achieve with this initiative. To the reassurance of the bankers present she confirmed that the exchange of information required a bilateral agreement between countries upon the international reporting standard and that minimum conditions were adhered to by the OECD also: she consdiers the assurance of data protection being a major issue and understands the concern with respect to the protection of the clients' private sphere expressed by both the Swiss and French bankers present.
Representatives from the head office of Société Générale participated in the meeting. They confirmed their group's interest in being able to benefit from the international division of labour since this was the only means for a global bank to benefit from Switzerland's excellence in wealth management.


Kapitalmarktforum Schweiz: Panel China-Switzerland The AFBS Secretariat moderates a panel discussion on the opportunities a partnership between China and Switzerland can offer the two countries. In order to open the view beyond the financial centre, panelists include an international Swiss firm, the SIX group, an international law firm as well as a global bank. It becomes apparent that the Swiss workplace is happy to have access to foreign banks in Switzerland since they are the only ones able to offer corporate finance services at a global level. SIX Group could offer Chinese firms easy access to the international capital markets and ease the diversification of their exposure in different currencies.

Maison de la Paix – The Internationalisation of the Renminbi The AFBS Secretariat speaks on the international financial centre Switzerland during the one-day conference organised by the Graduate Institute Geneva. The conference focused on the opportunities and challenges related to the internationalisation of the Renminbi, mainly under a monetary policy and political economy perspective. The panel on market opportunities and regulatory challenges for Switzerland was thus a slight outlyer but important for the audience to understand the diversity of aspects that need to be taken into account.

Exemption from Art 271 under FATCA The AFBS attracts the Federal Department of Finance's attention on the fact that the exemption from Art 271 – prohibiting action on behalf of foreign government entities – the government granted banks to comply with FATCA should encompass transmission of information not only to the US but also to other countries' authorities. This is necessary for banks to allow efficient implementation of FATCA, especially when they provide services to or use structures in foreign countries as is often the case in international private banking.


Financial Services Law and Training of Relationship Managers A meeting between AFBS representatives and the Federal Department of Finance allows to expose the international standards in the realm of training and certification of relationship managers. Foreign banks consider the introduction of an internationally respected regulation in that realm as of high importance for the positioning of the Swiss financial centre.

European Finance Forum: Sonderfall Schweiz?! The AFBS was invited to give a presentation on the Swiss financial and workplace to the European Finance Forum, Frankfurt. Following a brief historic the presentation discussed Swiss specificities such as the subsidiarity also in public finance, the division of competence between central and cantonal government and the relationship between citizen and State before insisting on the diversity and international connectivity of the financial centre. The audience was very much interested to learn that foreign banks in Switzerland were offering also corporate banking services.

Swiss Asset Management Day For the fourth time the canton of Schwyz invites the international asset management community to its Asset Management Day. The AFBS Secretariat speaks about the role of the Swiss financial centre as an internationally connected place for both investment management and product distribution. The audience was impressed by the variety of international promoters present on the Swiss market. It has become apparent once again that Switzerland is mostly appreciated for distribution rather than administration and portfolio management.

SBA Seminar Asset Management The AFBS Secretariat moderates the SBA seminar on the revised legislation in the collective investment schemes realm. The discussion clearly focuses on the new regime regarding the investor categorisation, the duties of the representative of foreign funds and the consequences due to the abolition of the private placement regime. The rules on remuneration and the liability of the custodian bank as established in the EU Directive were not take over into Swiss law or watered down considerably.


The Swiss Financial Centre as a partner for international business The AFBS Secretariat presents the history of Switzerland and its financial centre to the Chambre des Avocats de Paris. The conference is part of the compulsory training lawyers admitted to the bar in Paris need to take part in. It offers the lawyers an insight into the history of the Swiss financial centre and the diverse activities deployed by banks in Switzerland still today. They are interested by the fact that private wealth management is merely one among many reasons why foreign clients open a banking relation in Switzerland and discuss the opportunities the cross-border financing might constitute. The nexus between financial know how in Switzerland and the global network of an international bank are seen as an interesting offer.

Point de Presse of the SBA The AFBS participates in the annual media meeting organised by the Swiss Bankers' Association in Geneva. In a tour d’horizon issues relevant for the Financial Center Geneva were touched upon. Journalists were particularly interested in the AFBS view on the consolidation process and its impact for the Geneva banking sector.


ICMA Private Banking Strategy Day The ICMA Private Banking Group discussed its key topic for the months to come. The Charter has been adopted by some countries, but not by Switzerland – although many Swiss representatives were favourable. The ICMA Private Banking Group agrees that for the time being further efforts on extending the number of countries adopting the charter are not to be undertaken. Rather, the Capital Market Union from the perspective of private investors should be closer looked at,

SBA Seminar MiFID II in Switzerland A member of the AFBS Secretariat moderates the panel discussion in the seminar on MiFID and its impact onto the Swiss financial centre. It becomes apparent that for many aspects Switzerland already is aligned and for several other points it inevitably needs to as long as its banks want to service EU-domiciled clients. The speaker from Germany confirms that there will be no such thing as free market access to Germany for banks in Switzerland but that the passive services provision remains granted by the constitution. He also insists on the fact that the distribution of funds can take place upon mere notification instead of approval, which simplified procedures.

Distribution of foreign Exchange Traded Funds in Switzerland Upon initiative of some member firms the AFBS organises a Group to discuss the regulatory regime governing the distribution of foreign Exchante Traded Funds in Switzerland. Major issues concern the coordination of the listing procedure with the stock exchange and the approval procedure by the FINMA; the obligation to list all share classes even if not all are distributed; the regulation governing fully funded swap ETFs and its lacking compatibility with the EU rules; the difficulty to apply distribution agreements to ETF, which can also be traded directly on the stock exchange. An exchange of views with the Swiss ETF promoters is scheduled in view of coordinating next steps.

Fund Distribution in Switzerland The AFBS speaks on a seminar in Paris organised by the Association Française de Gestion. It presents the distribution market Switzerland to the French asset management industry. Paris counts an impressive number of small asset management boutiques which pursue their specific investment strategy; thanks to the bilateral agreement for simplified approval procedures many of these managers distribute their funds in Switzeralnd. This diversifies the offer and enhances attractiveness for investors.


Friends of Funds panel: Asset Management Initiative The AFBS Secretariat moderates a panel discussion on the state of play of the asset management initiative. It becomes clear that, in a first stage, the initiative aims at strengthening the Swiss management firms and ease their access to foreign markets. The initiative plans to promote research and education as well as exchange among asset managers; it does not appear that it wants to facilitate contacts between investors and those looking for investment such as start ups, spin offs or infrastructure projects. Also it is reserved vis-à-vis the idea to invite foreign asset managers to establish themselves in Switzerland.

SBA delegation to the EU Commission The AFBS Secretariat participates as part of a Swiss banking delegation in a two days information visit with different exponents of the EU Commission. The Swiss banks stressed their interest in the Capital Market Union; Switzerland is very favourable to the EU’s goal of job and growth and agrees that capital markets are of greatest importance. They gains would be bigger when third country financial service providers can have access to the capital market, both in channelling funds into the economies and to offer services and products for SME and project financing. The Swiss delegation also stated their surprise that the EU has not sought an agreement with non-European financial centers to implement the automatic information exchange.


Media Conference The media conference invites Grace Perez-Navarro and Fabrice Filliez to discuss the forthcoming international standard on automatic information exchange. The panel, which included bank representatives, discussed the views of the OECD and the Swiss government on the implementation of the standards by banks. The representatives from the banking industry were able to expose the organisational and operational challenges such a project constituted for a bank, the more so in a context where they merely are about to conclude work on the implementation of the FATCA, another major project introducing tax transparency. They insist on the importance to make the scheme as similar as possible to the FATCA standard to prevent unnecessary administrative complexity. The panelists discuss means by which the OECD can assure that individual countries do respect the obligations, especially of reciprocity, data protection, accepted when adhering to the common standard.

Meeting between the Directorate of the Swiss National Bank and the AFBS Board The discussion between the Directorate of the Swiss National Bank SNB and the AFBS delegation turned around the SNB's monetary policy, in particular its decision to introduce the negative interest rates. The AFBS shortly touched upon its position on the automatic information exchange and its view that the Swiss wealth management business is showing the first signs of recovery. This does not exclude that further banks will stop their activities in Switzerland. But the likelihood that new foreign banks enter Switzerland may increase.

Presentation of fund distribution in Switzerland to the UK industry The AFBS Secretariat gives presentations to the UK industry association and internally to some of its members in London on the revised Swiss regulation governing the distribution of foreign funds in Switzerland. The audience is particularly interested by the Swiss attitude towards retrocessions and the treatment of conflicts of interest.

Association Française de Gestion: road show in Switzerland The AFBS Secretariat speaks on a road show organised by the French asset management association. The event aims at presenting the French asset managers to Swiss investors and to promote the cooperation between the two financial centres. The French asset managers can offer interesting niche products to investors in Switzerland; thanks to the bilateral agreement on simplified approval procedures, the access of French products to Switzerland is easy. This contributes to the diversity of the offer in Switzerland and thus to its attractiveness.