Institutions

The diversity of actors that are the lifeblood of the Geneva financial center is the secret of its success. A wide variety of banking groups and numerous financial intermediaries have emerged over the years and now offer a wide range of products and services.

Today they offer a wide range of products and services in the following three areas:

  • Private and institutional wealth management
  • Commercial and retail banking
  • Commodity trade financing

There are 104 banks in Geneva, including 23 commercial and investment banks, 3 private bankers, and 46 foreign-owned banks. In addition, there are 895 independent financial advisors, more than 3,000 financial intermediaries, 589 insurance companies, 1,336 accounting firms, and more than 600 lawyers and notaries. A total of more than 6,000 companies operate in the financial center and account for more than 35'600 jobs. The financial sector alone accounts for almost 12% of Geneva's gross domestic product (GDP). With the addition of commodity trading, its contribution to GDP totals around 35%.

Cluster effect

With 400 commodity trading companies on its territory, Geneva is the world’s largest trader in cereals and vegetable oils, and in Europe it is the largest trader in sugar and cotton. A third of the world's exports of oil and oil by-products are negotiated in Geneva. It is thus no coincidence that many banks in Geneva have opted to specialise in commodity trade financing and that many shipping companies and others specialising in the inspection and verification of goods – including the global leader in the field – are based here as well.

The Geneva financial center enjoys an excellent international reputation thanks to a 500-year tradition founded on strict ethical principles. With the presence of activities such as marine freight and inspection, Geneva has emerged as an economic cluster with a unique concentration of skills. For instance, wealth management provides assets for underwriting commodity trading and credits. This creates a need for other services, such as shipping and inspection. These services in turn help attract multinational companies. Finally, this unique value chain enhances the quality of universities and research and contributes to making Geneva a key player in sustainable finance.

  • Cluster effect

  • Credit

    One of the essential roles played by banks in the economy involves converting liquid, short-term deposits into long-term mortgages and loans to companies. The banking system thus helps to stimulate other sectors of the economy.
  • Trade finance

    No other financial center in the world boasts the same concentration of skills as Geneva in areas related to commodity trading. This unique constellation comprises the main banking institutions with expertise in trade financing, leaders in this sector, including the global leader in inspection and certification, not to mention the large numbers of consulting firms and law firms that provide essential services to this industry. Geneva is the global leader in trade finance.
  • Shipping

    Most goods traded internationally are transported by ship. A unique feature of Geneva is the interconnectedness of service providers, from banks to inspection companies, and this explains why the world's second largest shipping company chose to locate in Geneva. Today, the Lake Geneva trading center accounts for around 22% of the total volume of commodities shipped worldwide.
  • Multinational companies

    Around 130 multinationals, are based in Geneva. They are predominantly involved in trading, watchmaking, fragrances, biotechnology and banking. Geneva's location in the heart of Europe and its proximity to Africa and the Middle East, its highly skilled, multilingual workforce, and its political stability and safety make it particularly attractive to multinationals.
  • Universities & research

    Geneva boasts first-rate universities and research institutes specializing in areas as diverse as international relations and life sciences. The presence of 600 companies actively pursuing research and development make Geneva a center of innovation and technical excellence. The Geneva Financial Center supports educational initiatives that range from apprenticeships to basic research, as well as professional and continuing education.
  • Sustainable finance

    Geneva has become a veritable laboratory of sustainable finance, due to the convergence of finance and international development in the city. Sustainable finance seeks to incorporate environmental and good governance criteria into investment decisions, for the benefit of clients as well as society as a whole. The Geneva Financial Center endorses this initiative through its support for Sustainable Finance Geneva.
  • Fintech

    Financial services are in the midst of a digital transformation. And Geneva banks are not only well positioned to manage this transition, but are also playing a central role in shaping the industry’s digital future. Geneva boasts outstanding infrastructure and experience in data management. The Geneva Financial Center takes part in the activities of the association Swiss FinTech Innovations.
Financial center
Credit
Trade finance
Shipping
Multinational companies
Universities & research
Sustainable finance
Fintech

Financial center

The financial sector is based on three pillars: private and institutional wealth management, commodity trade financing, and commercial and retail banking. There are 6,675 firms operating in the financial sector in Geneva, accounting for more than 37,000 jobs.

Credit

One of the essential roles played by banks in the economy involves converting liquid, short-term deposits into long-term mortgages and loans to companies. The banking system thus helps to stimulate other sectors of the economy.

Trade finance

No other financial center in the world boasts the same concentration of skills as Geneva in areas related to commodity trading. This unique constellation comprises the main banking institutions with expertise in trade financing, leaders in this sector, including the global leader in inspection and certification, not to mention the large numbers of consulting firms and law firms that provide essential services to this industry. Geneva is the global leader in trade finance.

Shipping

Most goods traded internationally are transported by ship. A unique feature of Geneva is the interconnectedness of service providers, from banks to inspection companies, and this explains why the world's second largest shipping company chose to locate in Geneva. Today, the Lake Geneva trading center accounts for around 22% of the total volume of commodities shipped worldwide.

Multinational companies

Around 130 multinationals, are based in Geneva. They are predominantly involved in trading, watchmaking, fragrances, biotechnology and banking. Geneva's location in the heart of Europe and its proximity to Africa and the Middle East, its highly skilled, multilingual workforce, and its political stability and safety make it particularly attractive to multinationals.

Universities & research

Geneva boasts first-rate universities and research institutes specializing in areas as diverse as international relations and life sciences. The presence of 600 companies actively pursuing research and development make Geneva a center of innovation and technical excellence. The Geneva Financial Center supports educational initiatives that range from apprenticeships to basic research, as well as professional and continuing education.

Sustainable finance

Geneva has become a veritable laboratory of sustainable finance, due to the convergence of finance and international development in the city. Sustainable finance seeks to incorporate environmental and good governance criteria into investment decisions, for the benefit of clients as well as society as a whole. The Geneva Financial Center endorses this initiative through its support for Sustainable Finance Geneva.

Fintech

Financial services are in the midst of a digital transformation. And Geneva banks are not only well positioned to manage this transition, but are also playing a central role in shaping the industry’s digital future. Geneva boasts outstanding infrastructure and experience in data management. The Geneva Financial Center takes part in the activities of the association Swiss FinTech Innovations.