Swiss financial centre

Switzerland is one of the world’s leading and most competitive financial centres. The financial sector is thus hugely important to its economy.

View of Paradeplatz in Zurich with UBS and Credit Suisse buildings.
The financial sector, made up of banks, insurers and pension funds, is a mainstay of the Swiss economy. © PRS

The financial sector is a cornerstone of the Swiss economy and contributes substantially to Switzerland’s prosperity. Comprised of the banking and insurance sectors, it is closely integrated with other countries. There are a total of 253 banks in Switzerland (as at the end of 2017), 99 of which are foreign institutions. Insurers and pension funds are also prominently represented in the financial sector, with 210 of the former and 1,643 of the latter operating in Switzerland at the end of 2017. 

Among the most competitive financial centres

Switzerland is one of the world’s leading and most competitive financial centres. Its main financial hubs are Zurich and Geneva – both of international significance – followed by Lugano in third position. 

The financial centre contributes substantially to Switzerland’s prosperity, providing some 200,000 jobs or around 5.7% of the total workforce as at the end of 2017. The value added of the financial sector accounts for almost 10% of Switzerland's gross domestic product (GDP). 

Switzerland is the global leader in wealth management for foreign clients, managing around a quarter of the world’s cross-border assets. Demand from the financial sector for services from other industries additionally has an indirect effect on value creation. Examples here include consulting and auditing firms as well as IT service providers.