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More Swiss bankruptcies in 2018 than ever before

Geneva
Canton Geneva recorded higher than normal bankruptcies and losses. Keystone

Last year saw a record number of bankruptcy procedures opened in Switzerland, with almost 14,000 cases involving bust businesses and individuals.

The record numbers, released on Thursday by the Federal Statistical Office, mark a 5.4% increase on 2017 and translate to overall financial losses of some CHF2 billion ($2 billion).

Every canton in the country saw a rise in cases except Zurich (24 fewer), the stats office said. Francophone regions in the south-east were particularly affected: notably Neuchâtel (15.7%), Geneva (16.5%), and Jura (25.5%).

Meanwhile, a discrepancy at national level was flagged between the 5.4% rise in the number of cases and the much larger 20% rise in the total financial cost of these cases. Here canton Geneva was a substantial culprit, contributing CHF373 million more losses than the previous year.

The stats office also clarified that these figures did not take into consideration bankruptcy procedures relating to management shortcomings – such cases in fact slightly fell last year.

These latest bankruptcy figures should not be conflated with a struggling economy, however: although growth in Switzerland remained steady rather than spectacular in 2018, unemployment numbers sank to a 10-year low.

+ A good year for the Swiss economy in 2018

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