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Swiss Bankers Association Urges Separation Of Banking And Research

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

09 December 2002


The Swiss Bankers Association last week issued new guidelines designed to separate research and banking activities in the country's financial institutions.

Following Pictet & Cie's announcement in November that it intends to create a total split between buy and sell side activities in order to avoid accusations of conflicts of interest, the SBA issued a statement revealing that:

'The Board of Directors of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has passed binding guidelines concerning the independence of financial analysis with a view to further strengthening the good reputation of Switzerland as a banking and financial centre. In particular, the SBA wants to ensure that financial analysis in Switzerland continues to remain independent and credible.'

The new rules proposed by the Swiss Bankers Association stipulate the establishment of so-called 'Chinese Walls' between a financial institute's research department and its other business areas, prohibit analysts from investing in firms or financial instruments which they assess or play a part in assessing, and ensure that analysts are not recompensed according to the success of specific transactions, making the possibility of biased analysis less likely.

The SBA's new guidelines are currently being examined by the Federal Banking Commission, which must approve them before they can come into force.


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