Encouraging innovation

The future of the Geneva financial centre depends more than ever on its capacity to innovate, especially in technology. The banking industry will have to reinvent itself to meet the requirements of generation Y and Z. This is where FinTech drives competitiveness. Governments can facilitate the process by providing a favourable regulatory framework.

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Several recent studies show that the financial centre innovated in long before the term FinTech was coined

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) and IMD Business School rank Switzerland among the world’s most competitive nations.
  • According to the IMD World Ditigal Competitiveness Ranking 2023, Switzerland still ranks 5th in thanks to its digital infrastructure and regulation as well as to the ability of Swiss companies to transform themselvers.
  • The "2023 IFZ FinTech Study" places Geneva on the 3rd position and confirms that Switzerland is back on track for growth.
  • The Swiss Finance Institute (SFI) has examined, through a representative study entitled "Digital Pulse Check 4.0", the current status of digitalization within the Swiss banking sector. Most established banking institutions have recognized the signs of the times. They are digitalizing their existing services step by step or rethinking them from the customer’s point of view. COVID-19 has accentuated this change once again.
  • In its "Survey on Digitalisation and Fintech at Swiss Banks 2019", published in August 2019, the Swiss National Bank points out that the banks view the digitalisation mainly as a source of opportunities, particularly with regard to cutting costs and improving service quality.





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Switzerland is among the best according to the IMD global competitiveness ranking - June 19, 2023

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The Deposit Token

Swiss Bankers Association White Paper

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has published a white paper on a digital Swiss franc, in which it outlines various designs of “tokenised” deposits on the blockchain. If issued by regulated banks, a deposit token could make an important contribution to Switzerland’s future competitiveness and innovative power, as well as bolster its sovereignty.


As the digital transformation sweeps through the economy and society at large, it requires support from efficient, widely accepted and secure means of payment. How can banks best support this development? That question lies at the heart of the current work by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) on the concept of a digital Swiss franc. In a white paper written jointly with experts from its member institutions and academia, it presents the idea of a “deposit token” (DT).

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Large financial centres today have vastly expanded their digital capacity. To remain competitive on an international scale, the Swiss banking industry needs a regulatory framework that supports the future evolution of technology.

In the United Kingdom, regulatory authorities have taken a proactive approach: the Financial Conduct Authority plays a key role in promoting economic development by supporting FinTech companies through its ‘innovation hub’ programme.

In Switzerland, the Federal Council has adopted a ‘Digital Switzerland Strategy’ calling for close cooperation among all economic sectors.  The FINMA, meanwhile, has decided to authorise online identification of banking clients, an important development for an international financial centre like Geneva, and one that is likely to benefit both retail banks and institutions specialising in wealth management.

To ensure the financial centre remains competitive and continues to innovate, government and political leaders must provide a determined regulatory impetus, in order to give Switzerland a legal framework that supports the development of FinTech and does not discourage innovation.  


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