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Public trust in Swiss banks soars amid pandemic 

A Covid credit programme has helped boost the reputation of Swiss banks, despite some of them being the target of climate protests. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Swiss people’s trust in their country’s banks is at its highest in 20 years, boosted by Covid credits and a commitment to sustainability, according to a new survey.

People from almost all political camps have a positive perception, with 75% describing their attitude towards Swiss banks as positive or very positive, found the survey conducted by gfs.bern for the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). According to an SBA press release on Tuesday this is a new high. The proportion of people with positive or very positive opinions about their own bank was even higher, at 90%.

Silvan Lipp of the SBA said banks had made an important contribution to improving their overall image through their administering of the emergency Covid credit programme, as well as their commitment to sustainability. Around two-thirds of survey respondents said they thought banks were actively committed to protecting the environment, compared with only 20% in 2017.

According to the survey, the banks are also valued for their reliability and their role as important employers. Survey respondents perceived them to be solid and economically secure.

The survey was conducted among 1,001 voters across Switzerland between January 13 and February 18, 2021. As such, it did not take into account the recent Greensill and Archegos banking scandals, which had a significant negative impact on Crédit Suisse, according to Urs Bieri of gfs.bern.

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