Swiss Economy and Banking Sector
Durung the last 10 years EURCHF exchange rate was within the range 1.1418 - 1.6762, reaching its maximum in Oct 2007 and falling to its minimum in Jul 2011.
According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Switzerland in 2013 was 490.0 bln EUR.
Switzerland outperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to 0.7% over the past 10 years (2002 - 2012). In 2013 real GDP growth was 2.0% which was above the Euro Area average (-0.5%) and above the European Union average (0.1%).
Switzerland has an above-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power standards; this economic welfare indicator has, on average, exceeded that of the European Union by 42.91% over the past ten years (2002 - 2012). In 2012, real GDP per capita in Switzerland was 44700.00 EUR.
According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Switzerland in 2013 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was 0.1% which was below the Euro Area average (1.4%) and below the European Union average (1.5%).
Taxation in Switzerland
Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.
Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Switzerland are shown in Table 1.
Double Taxation Agreements
Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation. Switzerland signed DTAs with the following countries:
Information Exchange Agreements
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil. Switzerland signed TIEAs with the following countries:
Swiss Banking Sector
Financial Market Development
According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, financial market development in Switzerland is scored 5.304 out of maximum 7.000 and ranked 9th out of 144 analysed economies. Soundness of banks is scored 5.939 bringing Switzerland into the 26th place, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 5.783 (13th place).
Banking Industry Country Risk
Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) is a methodology designed by Standard&Poor's "to evaluate and compare global banking systems". A BICRA is scored on a scale from 1 to 10, ranging from the lowest-risk banking systems (group 1) to the highest-risk (group 10). The BICRA methodology has two main analytical components: "economic risk" and "industry risk". Each of the components is then further divided into 3 "factors" that result in an economic and industry risk score for each country.
Switzerland is included into group '1' with economic risk scored '1' and industry risk scored '2'.
Country Ceiling for Deposits
Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.
Local currency (Swiss franc) deposit ceiling for Switzerland is set to Aaa (prime), foreign currency deposit ceiling is Aaa (prime).
Banking Sector Structure
There are 304 credit institutions operating in Switzerland that are classified into several bank categories. Table 3 summarises the number of banks in each bank category.