Banks and insurance companies

Banks, insurance companies and pension funds in Switzerland employ some 200,000 full-time equivalent staff and generate just under 10% of GDP. Switzerland's financial sector is the global leader in wealth management. It also provides key services, including loans and other financial services, to businesses and individuals.

Facade of the Swiss Re building.
Swiss Re, based in Zurich, is one of the world's largest reinsurance companies. © Swiss Re, Leonardo Finotti, 2017

Insurance companies and banks are one of the cornerstones of the Swiss economy, between them accounting for just under 10% of GDP. In 2020, the financial sector generated approximately CHF 68 billion in value-added and employed around 208,800 full-time equivalent staff. The financial sector is export-driven, accounting for 24% of total services exports in 2019.

Switzerland is one of the most important financial centres in the world. At the end of 2019, the Swiss banking sector was the global leader in cross-border wealth management services, with a market share of 25%. In 2019, Swiss banks also held CHF 7,893 billion in total assets under management, about half of which came from abroad.

Fifty per cent of the market in the hands of two major banks

In 2019, there were some 246 banks in Switzerland, with the two international banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse claiming a market share of around 50%. The remaining 50% is mainly accounted for by the 24 cantonal banks, foreign banks, Raiffeisen banks, stock exchange banks, regional banks, savings banks, and private banks. In addition to creating added-value directly, Switzerland's diverse, regionally-based banking sector provides key services, including loans and other financial services, to businesses and individuals.

Swiss insurance companies generate three quarters of their premiums abroad

In 2019, Swiss insurance companies generated a total of CHF 240 billion in insurance premiums, about 78% of which came from abroad. The capital-intensive insurance industry makes a vital contribution to the economy both as taxpayer and investor: in 2019, investments from insurance companies in Switzerland totalled CHF 570 billion.

Of the almost 200 insurance companies in Switzerland, 6 are large groups. Zurich Insurance Group is Switzerland's largest private insurer by some margin, followed by Chubb, Swiss Re and Swiss Life.