A guide to cross-border financing in Switzerland

Author: IFLR Correspondent | Published: 5 Dec 2019

Daniel Hayek and Mark Meili of Prager Dreifuss look at the rules, practicalities and latest developments in what continues to be a friendly environment for cross-border financing


Switzerland is home to approximately 250 banks with an aggregate balance sheet of about CHF3.23 trillion ($3.25 trillion). Consequently, the Swiss cross-border financing market is mature and well-developed. Local banks such as Credit Suisse, UBS and the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) are the dominant lenders when it comes to cross-border financing, but international banks are also active in the Swiss market. This is because the headquarters of large international groups are located in Switzerland and also because borrowers frequently have Swiss affiliates that grant security.

Since the global financial crisis, banks in Switzerland have become stricter with regard to providing loans to companies. This trend is reinforced by Basel III legislation, which requires banks to hold more equity....