Switzerland’s financial centre has a positive reputation abroad, despite a string of scandals in 2018, according to a 19-nation survey conducted by Presence Suisse.
The reputation and quality of Swiss banks were rated as “good” to “very good” by most respondents in the international poll of 12,767 people. The ethics and responsibility of the Swiss banking sector are also well regarded.
"Contrary to what we sometimes fear in Switzerland, our financial centre enjoys a very good reputation abroad,” said ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Swiss Presence, the foreign ministry’s promotional arm.
The Swiss financial sector had a rough year in 2018, with scandals rocking the Raiffeisen bank and the state-owned PostBus company, known for its alpine network of distinctive yellow buses. Swiss banking giant UBS endured legal woes in France and the United States.
But compared to Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Britain, Switzerland has the best overall results, the survey found. It is even rated much more positively than the German, British and American financial centres.
“This shows that Switzerland is perceived as a strong and high-quality financial centre that applies international regulations,” said Bideau.
When asked what Switzerland means to them, respondents often spontaneously think about prosperity and good economic conditions, quality of life, neutrality and cleanliness.
Switzerland’s picture-perfect landscapes and nature are top contributors to the Alpine nation’s positive image abroad. So are the smooth functioning of the political system and its approach to education, research and training.
The neutral nation’s contribution to peacekeeping and respect for human rights and conflict mediation is less well known abroad. When it comes to international solidarity, Switzerland gets some credit for its commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development.
The study also examined the perception of Switzerland in the areas of culture, population, sport, and its role in Europe.
The representative opinion survey designed by Presence Switzerland was conducted in Argentina, Brazil, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the US.
The surveys were conducted by Empiricon SA between September 13 and November 7, 2018.