Tag Archive: Latest news

Swiss government proposes overhaul of money-laundering laws 

The Swiss government wants to revamp the laws against money laundering so that lawyers, notaries and other advisors are required to comply with due diligence obligations.  The Federal Council (executive body) proposed on Wednesday a set of legal amendments to meet international standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. 

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Raiffeisen bank announces CHF1 million executive pay cap

Switzerland’s third largest bank will limit the annual remuneration of top management to CHF1 million (around $1million) from July 1. The announcement was made at the bank’s general meeting on Saturday in Crans-Montana. CEO Heinz Huber’s compensation has already been adjusted when he took up his duties in January.

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UBS to implement zero interest rate on savings accounts

As of June 1, Switzerland's largest bank will stop paying interest on adult savings accounts. Funds deposited in UBS savings accounts currently earn a rate of 0.01%, just like at Credit Suisse, the other major Swiss bank. Almost all other Swiss banks pay a small interest on saving accounts with the average amounting to 0.07%.

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Lawyer says that Volkswagen case stalling in Switzerland 

The lawyer representing about 500 people in Switzerland who have filed a complaint against German carmaker Volkswagen and importer AMAG says the Swiss attorney general is dragging his feet in the so-called ‘Dieselgate’ case. Geneva lawyer Jacques Roulet formally wrote a letter to the Swiss justice minister, Karin Keller-Sutter, complaining about the alleged delays “in a case of national importance,” according to news agency Keystone-SDA.

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Almost 60,000 Swiss dwellings unoccupied last year

A significant increase in vacant homes is predicted by Zurich Cantonal Bank. Suburbs are particularly prone to lower occupancy levels. The problem of empty housing, particularly in the urban periphery, is likely to worsen, with construction activity concentrated in areas with already high vacancy rates. Last year around 59,700 homes did not have any tenants.

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Watchdog confirms illegal activity by cryptocurrency firm Envion

An investigation by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has revealed the that Zug-based cryptocurrency venture Envion unlawfully received deposits from at least 37,000 investors. Envion unlawfully accepted over CHF90 million ($90.5 million) in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) without the necessary statutory licence, according to a statement by FINMAexternal link on Wednesday.

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Swiss agency suspends payments to migration platform

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has temporarily suspended payments to a civil society platform on migration issues. Financial conflicts of interest and accusations of pro-migration bias are being investigated. On Thursday, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) confirmed that the Swiss Civil Society Platform on Migration and Development will not be receiving any further funds.

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UBS fined and denied right to sponsor IPOs in Hong Kong

Swiss bank UBS has been fined HK$375 million (CHF48 million) for irregularities involving three IPOs it had help list on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2009. Its licence to sponsor IPOs in the city was also suspended for one year.

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Declining trend of cross-border workers continues

The number of cross-border workers in Switzerland – except those from France – has dropped for the second consecutive quarter. This marks the second year-on-year decline by quarter in 20 years. According to numbers released by the Federal Statistical Office on Thursday, the fourth quarter of 2018 saw 2,000 fewer people commuting to Switzerland to work compared to the same period the year before.

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Swiss prepare to fight age discrimination

A people's initiative, allowing workers over 50 to sue for age discrimination, will be launched soon, the NZZ am Sonntag reported on Sunday. According to Heidi Joos, the CEO of Avenir 50 plus, one of the organisations behind the project, this proposed constitutional provision should allow employees to sue a company if they believe they have been dismissed for age-related reasons or if their application for employment has not been taken into account...

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Two-thirds of Swiss see artificial intelligence as job threat

Only 34% of Swiss people believe their jobs are not at risk from automation and machine learning, according to a survey commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Almost half of the 2,092 people surveyed by the Link Institute for SBC felt that some of their daily tasks could be done by machines and algorithms, while 15% were convinced that robots could do much of their work.

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Taxes and insurance eat up almost 30percent of Swiss household income

Swiss households spend an average of 29% on mandatory payments like taxes, social contributions and health insurance. Figures released by the Swiss Statistical Office on Monday reveal that, based on 2016 data, a Swiss household had an average income of CHF7,124 ($7,140), of which CHF2,910 was eaten up by unavoidable expenses.

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Swiss civil servants incur CHF121 million in expenses

The expenses of Swiss civil servants added up to CHF 121.7 million ($122 million) last year, according to the SonntagsBlick newspaper. Counting the 34,800 full-time positions in the federal administration in 2016, that level of spending amounts to almost CHF3,500 per civil servant.

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Swiss no longer in top ten in world university ranking

The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) remains the best university in continental Europe, despite slipping one place to 11th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019. The list, which was released on Wednesday, scores 1,250 universities on five main criteria: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook. Over 20,000 responses to a survey from 2017 and 2018 on reputation of the...

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Almost one in five Swiss residents have dual nationality

Around 17% of Swiss residents over the age of 15 hold two passports. The canton of Geneva has the highest proportion of dual nationals at 45%. According to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on Tuesday, the double nationality rate exceeds 20% in the cantons of Zurich, Basel City, Ticino, Vaud and Neuchâtel.

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Basel-EuroAirport rail link should open in 2028

The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Fribourg Airport should be accessible by rail by 2028. Project leaders are convinced that trains will replace the buses currently connecting the city of Basel to the airport within ten years. The French national railway company SNCF said on Thursday that is it is normal that financing for a project of this magnitude is not yet fully secured in France.

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India’s Aurobindo buys Sandoz US assets from Novartis

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis announced the divestment of its dermatology and generic tablet portfolios of Sandoz US to India’s Aurobindo Pharma for a $900 million (CHF870 million) cash payment. A possible performance-related payment of $100 million could be added to the purchase price, the Swiss AWP financial news agency reported.

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A third of Swiss companies have difficulty filling vacancies

A shortage of skilled labour continues to affect the Swiss job market, according to the latest survey by employment agency Manpower. Among reasons given for difficulties in finding the right candidates, 30% of employers surveyed cited a lack of technical skills, 29% a lack of candidates, 17% blamed a lack of professional experience and 14% cited missing interpersonal skills.

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Swiss banking sector continues to shrink but survivors profitable

Switzerland lost a total of nine banks in 2017 bringing the total to 253. Around 20 years ago the country boasted more than 400 banks. According to the annual “Banks in Switzerland” report released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Thursday, only one foreign bank opened a Swiss branch last year. The number of people working for banks also declined. Staff numbers in Switzerland fell by 7.7% to 93,554 full-time equivalents (FTEs).

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