New opportunities for the Swiss financial sector
The EU Action Plan for “Financing Sustainable Growth” will fundamentally change the Swiss financial market, while offering the financial sector in this country immense new business opportunities. This will only be the case, however, if the government adjusts the rules on sustainability in the financial sector and if companies fundamentally change their way of doing business, as the study published by PwC Switzerland and WWF Switzerland today makes clear.
per year additional funding will be required until 2030
of countries encouraging to integrate sustainability
of countries have no standards that would not hinder to integrate sustainability factors
political parties thinking of integrating or debating sustainability factors
Zurich, 19 March 2019 – In the next two years, new standards will be pushing the European financial sector towards sustainability at an increased pace. The Swiss financial sector is fundamentally well placed in this respect and benefits from very substantial expertise. However, Switzerland must adjust its regulatory framework in such a way that the Swiss financial sector continues to have access to the European market and is able to keep pace with international developments. The study published today makes the following concrete recommendations in this respect:
“If Switzerland moves promptly towards sustainability in this way, great opportunities for the financial market and the Swiss financial centre will be created,” explains Michael Taschner of PwC Switzerland. But the study also shows that, without transparency on sustainability standards, the access that Swiss financial institutions have to the EU market may be at risk. If this business with EU clients disappears, there would be massive consequences for financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds.
The EU will implement the "Financing Sustainable Growth" action plan over the next two years, thereby compelling Switzerland to act also. This action plan changes practically the whole financial market regulatory structure, in that sustainability factors will be integrated into risk management, transparency requirements, client advisory etc. Sustainability factors will be viewed in the light of the new standard and must be incorporated by all financial service providers into their internal processes.
The action plan raises the level of transparency, measurability, comparability, data quality and data accessibility. It thus creates the basis for the guidance of financial flows as decided in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. “A reorientation and rapid implementation of the EU rules is also required in the Swiss financial sector, so that Switzerland does not become an isolated island for non-sustainable financial investments,” says Ivo Mugglin of WWF Switzerland. The matter has still not been adequately discussed, creating great uncertainty and incalculable risks for the financial sector.
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