The land of “negative interest”
I have been travelling a bit of Europe this week – London, Dusseldorf and now Switzerland. Speaking with people in the industry and gathering perspectives first hand is irreplacable experience. While I was in Zurich, for example, I got a taste what the bankers are feeling here. Switzerland is an impressive country in so many ways. For a quick overview of the current economic conditions, have a read of this blurb from a Credit Suisse bulletin. (https://infocus.credit-suisse.com/app/article/index.cfm?fuseaction=OpenArticle&aoid=376023&lang=EN&WT.mc_id=Feed_Credit%20Suisse%20-%20In%20Focus). Of course they do not use the euro here in CH, and the Swiss Franc is a powerful thing. The currency is in fact so strong that many foreigners are ‘parking’ their money here as a safe haven from the euro, dollar, etc. After all, It’s cold out there! Well the Swiss banks are concerned enough about this that prevailing market rates have now turn the market on it’s head. Feel free to deposit your money in a Swiss bank, people, but be prepared to earn “negative interest rates” for it. That means that you pay the bank, for the privilege of having them hold your money. Amazing – what’s the world coming to!
Good question – while visiting with a Managing Director at one of the largest banks in Switzerland (that narrows it down, eh?), I asked where the growth areas of the bank are. His answer said it all. He told me that the Big 5 growth areas at his bank are: Global Risk, Legal, Compliance, Security, and Audit. Let that sink in a bit, while you read over those Big 5 areas of growth. Something tells me that this is not a Swiss phenomenon.