The 10 largest Swiss Banks according to their Balance Sheet totals
Below you will find an up-to-date list of the 10 largest Swiss Banks according to their balance sheet totals. If not specially indicated the figures are from 31.12.2018. But I will update as soon as the new figures drop in.
Let’s start bottom-up with
42,493 (as of 31.12.2019; 2018: 38,761) billion Swiss Francs
LUKB belongs to the larger Cantonal Banks of Switzerland. It has about 1000 employees and is located in the heart of Switzerland. 61.5% of the share capital is held by the Canton of Lucerne (the rest is free float) and the Canton is also giving a government guaranty. The bank is widely engaged and sponsors a lot of activities in culture, sport, and education.
44,038 billion Swiss Francs
Another large Swiss Cantonal Bank that sponsors a lot of social, sport and educational activities and is the employer of about 900 people. The bank belongs fully to the Canton of Basel-Stadt. BKB has a daughter bank that is highly active within digital topics: Bank Cler.
8. Migros Bank
44,679 billion Swiss Francs
This bank belongs to the famous Swiss food retailer “Migros”. Migros Group is a corporate society that belongs to nearly 2 million Swiss residents and employs about 100’000 people. The bank is part of this conglomerate.
47,863 billion Swiss Francs
BCV is located in the western, French-speaking part of Switzerland. The Canton of Vaud is the majority shareholder, with 66.95% of the bank’s share capital. There is not government guaranty on the bank’s obligations. However, as with all deposits within Swiss banks, there is insurance up to CHF 100’000 by the nationwide investor protection scheme.
Full-year results 2019 expected on 27 February 2020.
102,0 (as of 31.12.2019; 2018: 102,898) billion Swiss Francs
This is the largest pure Private Banking Group of Switzerland. The share capital is fully free-floating and traded at – inter alia – the Swiss Stock Exchange.
118,173 billion Swiss Francs
This is the banking arm of the Swiss Post company. It belongs fully to the government of Switzerland. However, there is no government guaranty. However, due to systemic importance, it is from my point of view having an implicit guaranty. The systemic importance makes it not possible to let it fail.
169,408 billion Swiss Francs
This is by far the largest of the 24 Swiss Cantonal Banks and acting as a universal bank, meaning it is offering all kinds of services to its clients. ZKB, as the abbreviation is, is fully owned by the Canton of Zurich and in other words, belongs to the inhabitants of Zurich. The bank pays every year part of its profit to the Canton and the communities of Zurich, thereby reducing indirectly the tax of people and companies in Zurich. In addition, it is engaged a lot in the Canton of Zurich by sponsoring many events, culture, sports, education, etc. The Canton of Zurich is granting a full government guaranty for the bank’s obligations. In 2020 the ZKB is celebrating its 150 anniversary.
The bank is headquartered at the famous Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich at the tram station “Kantonalbank” (between Paradeplatz and the lake of Zurich).
And now the top 3 largest Swiss Banks:
225,333 billion Swiss Francs
Raiffeisen Group is a network of 246 legally independent single banks in the legal structure of cooperative societies. These single banks are strongly connected with their central bank in St. Gallen («Raiffeisenzentrale»). During the last years, the number of single banks has come down remarkably.
768,916 billion Swiss Francs
One of the two Swiss Large Banks and one of the 30 Global Systemically Important Banks. Famous for its promotions with Roger Federer. The bank has grown through different acquisitions as e.g. of Bank Leu or of Swiss Volksbank.
Full-year results 2019 expected on 13 February 2020.
972,183 (as of 31.12.2019; 2018: 958,489) billion Swiss Francs
The other of the two Swiss Large Banks and one of the 30 Global Systemically Important Banks. Came out of the merger between Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998. In the years of the financial crisis 2007 / 2008, the bank had to bear massif losses and had to be saved by the Swiss government and the Swiss National Bank. Nowadays UBS is a famous global wealth management banking group and even the largest asset manager in the world.
Remark on Vontobel
You might miss the Vontobel group a well-known large Swiss Private Banking group on this list. However, their balance sheet total is “only” CHF 26,037 billion Swiss Francs.
Some other interesting facts about Swiss Banks:
- All about 250 banks in Switzerland (not only the above-mentioned 10 largest Swiss banks) together had a Balance Sheet total of 3,22 trillion Swiss Francs.
- Very often – due to the international context of Geneva – people search for “Bank of Geneva” most probably meaning the Cantonal Bank of Geneva (Banque Cantonale de Genève) which would be on rank 24 with a Balance Sheet of 23,034 billion Swiss Francs.
- Did you know that Switzerland has 26 cantons (including so-called half-cantons) but only has 24 Cantonal Banks? The two half-cantons Appenzell Innerrhoden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden have one bank together, the Appenzeller Kantonalbank. The Canton of Solothurn had a Cantonal Bank until the beginning of the 1990s. During financial trouble at that time, the bank had to be reorganized and recapitalized and was sold as Solothurner Bank SoBa to the former Swiss Banking Corporation (Schweizerischer Bankverein) and later sold again to the Baloise Insurance, that still owns the bank today under the name Baloise Bank SoBa.
Ok, this is a bit a facty-number blog post, however, I hope some people might find it useful. Kindly yours, the Banker on TheBankerBlog.com.
Source of the numbers: Websites of the mentioned banks.
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