“If you can’t trust a Swiss banker, then what’s the world come to?”
— James Bond, The World Is Not Enough
Swiss banking has been through a major strategic refit over the past ten years. It initially grew beyond its borders by exploiting several advantages its home base had to offer – secrecy and stability. The problem is that since the 1990s, political stability has ceased being a differentiating factor, as the world has generally become more stable; and since the 2000s, bank secrecy has come under sustained pressure from countries looking to shore up their tax receipts.
As a result, Swiss banks have lost share in the market for global wealth management. Over the past ten years, world wealth is up 86%, yet foreign assets managed by Swiss banks are up only 28%.
But Swiss banking may now be back on track and its recovery is a lesson in how to redesign a customer proposition. This week, UBS – the largest Swiss bank – reported earnings for 2021. It remains the world’s largest wealth manager…