Switzerland could lose wealth crown to Hong Kong

10:56 24.06.2024 •

Photo: AFP

UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti (photo) has warned that Switzerland risks being overtaken as the world’s wealth management hub if policymakers overreact to the fall of Credit Suisse.

Sergio Ermotti says banks must compete internationally as debate rages over direction of country’s financial reforms. Ermotti, who was drafted back in as head of Switzerland’s biggest lender, said the country needed its banks to be able to compete globally.

“Hong Kong, Singapore and the US are aggressively competing, and making great progress, for the offshore wealth management crown that Switzerland holds today,” he said during a speech at Lucerne university.

“We cannot be complacent and pretend that having just local banks compete fiercely domestically will be sufficient.”

Ermotti and UBS have become involved in anincreasingly fractious debatewith Swiss authorities in the aftermath of Credit Suisse’s collapse over the future direction of financial reform in the country.

“There are too many uninformed, populist and fear-mongering voices in the media, politics and academia, including here at this university, focused exclusively on the danger of having a large bank based in our country,” Ermotti said in Lucerne.

During his speech, Ermotti displayed a slide that showed Hong Kong’s wealth management sector was expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 per cent to and was set to overtake Switzerland by 2027, while Singapore’s was growing at 9 per cent and was on course to be in third place.

“Foreign financial centres would benefit if Switzerland were to restrict its ability to maintain a leading presence abroad,” said Ermotti.


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