The Covid crisis continued to dominate society in 2021. However, the substantial growth in deposits with Swiss banks shows that bank clients have great confidence in their banks, thanks in part to esisuisse.
In February 2015, the Federal Council launched a partial revision of the Banking Act (BankA) entitled «Further development of deposit insurance». The revised Banking Act is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2023. Parliament passed this partial revision on 17 December 2021. The revision significantly strengthens deposit insurance in three areas:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) criticised esisuisse’s governance in April 2014. The subsequent Brunetti report of December 2014 then made concrete recommendations for improving esisuisse’s governance and independence. In particular, it stated that the composition of the Board of Directors needed to be changed and that the association should be made independent by revising the Articles of Association.
esisuisse implemented this call for stronger governance in 2015, when it became organisationally and operationally separate from the Swiss Bankers Association. The Board of Directors was re-appointed, including at least three Board members who are independent of the banks. esisuisse’s Board of Directors currently has four independent members, including the Vice Chairman. esisuisse has also defined a structured recruitment process, including an assessment, for new Board members, thus ensuring that the independent members also meet the high professional and personal requirements for the mandate.
In 2019, the Board of Directors of esisuisse resolved to further strengthen governance in relation to deposit insurance calls. esisuisse’s Articles of Association in force until this point stipulated that information from FINMA about the impending closure of a bank must be kept confidential from all members of the Board of Directors, including the independent members. In June 2020, the General Meeting of Members approved an amendment to the Articles of Association providing for an exception to this confidentiality requirement for the independent members of the Board of Directors.
This allowed the Board Case Committee (BCC), which had been newly formed from the independent members of the Board of Directors, to also supervise the Office in the critical phase between receipt of advance information from FINMA and the public announcement of a bank’s closure.
FINMA supported and approved the improvement in governance initiated by esisuisse. In esisuisse’s opinion, in the implementation details, it was not feasible to put into practice the requirements for the members of the BCC regarding conflicts of interest. esisuisse’s Board of Directors therefore dissolved the BCC on 31 December 2021. With the dissolution of the BCC, the independent members of the Board of Directors will also cease to be informed in advance of a bank’s closure.
esisuisse continues to assume that FINMA will inform esisuisse’s management at an early stage in the event of an impending deposit insurance call (at least 14 working days in advance) so that esisuisse can properly carry out its duties.