Cantonal banks' privileges should be scrapped: Credit Suisse CEO
October 23, 2020

Cantonal banks’ privileges should be scrapped: Credit Suisse CEO

VIENNA (AUSTRIA) – Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein said that the privileges enjoyed by Switzerland’s state-supported regional banks should be scrapped in a bid to ensure that they pay the same taxes as private banks.

“I consider cantonal banks with implicit or explicit state guarantees and tax privileges a major market distortion in the Swiss private sector,” he said in an interview with a local publication on Saturday.

Regional governments have significant stakes and shareholder voting rights in cantonal banks and their liabilities are guaranteed by the canton that owns them.

“A normal bank pays on average about 20% taxes and pays out 50% of profits to its shareholders. I do not see any reason why cantonal banks should not do the same,” Gottstein added.

So far, Credit Suisse has approved 3.3 billion Swiss francs for emergency lending related to the pandemic crisis, he said in the interview.

He said that family-owned businesses and wealthy private clients have started eyeing Switzerland fearing that other European nations could hike taxes, including levies on wealth and inheritance to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

“This is a chance for our financial market and the private banking,” he said.

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