Post bosses plead for banking licence

Swiss Post says a banking licence would help increase its financial potential as profits are expected to drop by more than a quarter this year.

This content was published on July 3, 2009 minutes

Chairman Claude Béglé said it was unfortunate that the government came out against granting such a permit, since the company already had the necessary the know-how.

He is hopeful that parliament might change its mind, but added that Swiss Post was also willing to cooperate with partners in the banking business.

The PostFinance unit presently has customer assets of SFr73 billion ($67.2 billion), an increase of about 20 per cent over the past six months.

Béglé said Swiss Post was likely to see profits plunge by more than SFr220 million as a result of the recession, an increase in value added tax, market liberalisation and restrictions by the state price regulator.

Chief Executive Michel Kunz, who like Béglé took up his post three months ago, has defended a review of the postal network and trials with a new mail delivery schedule.

Kunz said the planned delivery and logistics reforms were necessary cost-cutting measures. The number of sent letters is expected to slump by up to 50 per cent in the next few years.

Trade unions handed in a petition calling for the network to be maintained. Three years ago, the state-owned company cut 500 jobs.

Swiss Post has a workforce of more than 59,000, including 6,800 employees outside the country, and made a net profit of SFr825 million last year.

Urs Geiser,

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