Depositor protection in Switzerland is provided by esisuisse. Like any bank and any securities firm in Switzerland, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique (hereinafter “the Bank”) is required to sign the Self-regulation «Agreement between esisuisse and its members».
The Swiss Banking Act (BA) governs, among other things, the authorization to operate as a bank and contains provisions on banking activities. Its ordinance (OB) specifies its application. On January 1st, 2023, the amendments to these texts will come into force. They pertain to the deposit guarantee (or asset protection), which is governed by articles 36a to 37jbis of the BA and articles 42a to 44a of the OB.
What is the deposit guarantee?
Deposits with the Bank, or any other Swiss bank, are covered by the deposit guarantee scheme. This means that in case of bankruptcy of the bank, the deposit guarantee scheme protects the client’s deposits up to CHF 100’000, in accordance with the legal provisions. If a client has several accounts with the same bank, the assets are added together and guaranteed for a maximum amount of CHF 100’000.
What changes for clients from January 1st, 2023?
In the context of the changes in the legal provisions, only joint accounts and collective accounts are affected.
Henceforth, when several persons are joint account holders or collective account holders, such accounts will be treated as a single client in its own right for the purposes of the guarantee. If the same persons hold other accounts in the same bank all their balances will be added together in the calculation of the guarantee, up to a maximum amount of CHF 100’000. However, where a joint or collective account holder maintains a separate, individual business relationship with the bank, the amount of CHF 100’000 is also guaranteed for this separate account.
What changes for financial intermediaries from January 1st, 2023?
Financial intermediaries exposed to insolvency risk will be required to make preparations to ensure prompt repayment of their customers’ guaranteed deposits.
Financial intermediaries, due to this change in the law, will no longer benefit from the protection of their assets up to CHF 100’000 (neither guarantee nor privilege) for the accounts they hold with another bank in case of the latter’s bankruptcy.
What changes for clients from foreign branches/subsidiaries from January 1st, 2023?
If a client holds assets with a foreign branch/subsidiary of a Swiss bank, he or she is considered to be a full client of said branch/subsidiary. Assets booked in Switzerland and assets booked with foreign branches/subsidiaries of the bank concerned are no longer added together for the purposes of the guarantee or bankruptcy privileges.
Assets booked with foreign branches/subsidiaries are still not guaranteed, but remain privileged under bankruptcy law up to CHF 100’000.
The depositor protection system is explained in detail on the esisuisse website.
Last review: January 2023