Sustainable financing & investments in Switzerland

  • In order to achieve the net zero 2050 target under the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, an annual investment of approx. CHF 12.9 billion (2% of GDP) is required in Switzerland, with CHF 10.7 billion expected to be provided by traditional bank lending.
  • Switzerland’s financial sector has a leading role to play in steering capital flows, both through its diverse and competitive banking industry and its position as a global market leader in cross-border private banking (almost one quarter of all assets under management worldwide are managed in or out of Switzerland).
  • There are currently approx. CHF 11 billion in green bonds outstanding at the SIX Swiss Exchange and the first Swiss Confederation Green Bond is expected to be issued later this year.
  • For Swiss financial services providers and corporates alike, incorporating ESG considerations in their business and finance strategy constitutes both part of their corporate responsibility and a clear competitive advantage.

Regulatory environment

  • At the moment, green bonds are not subject to any separate disclosure or listing rules.
  • Besides the general non-financial reporting obligations applying to public interest companies, a set of rules has been enacted by industry organisations such as the Recommendations of the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association, the FINMA circulars 2016/1 and 2016/2 on disclosures by banks and insurance companies as well as the FINMA Guidance 05/2021 on preventing and combating greenwashing.
  • As of 1 January 2023, the Guidelines of the Swiss Bankers’ Association on the integration of ESG preferences and ESG risks into investment advice and portfolio management will enter into force.
  • For financial institutions with a cross-border reach, certain reporting exemptions might apply in case of reporting under an equivalent foreign reporting standard or consolidated reporting by another group entity.

If you have any questions regarding ESG and sustainability in corporate finance in Switzerland, please do not hesitate to contact Christine or Valérie.