- The integrity of financial products and services is of central importance for the Swiss financial center. The Asset Management Association Switzerland (AMAS), the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) therefore reject any form of greenwashing.
- AMAS, the SBA and the SIA have already taken measures to avoid greenwashing since 2022 due to this motivation. They will implement the Federal Council's call to further develop the self-regulations together with the relevant stakeholders.
- The three associations remain convinced that self-regulation is an effective and, compared to principle-based regulation, more flexible instrument to avoid greenwashing.
- AMAS, the SBA and the SIA will continue to fully support the Federal Council in its efforts and actively engage in dialogue with the authorities to jointly strengthen Switzerland's position as a leading hub for sustainable finance.
The involved associations share the Confederation's objective of making the Swiss financial market a leader in the area of sustainability. The integrity of financial products and services is of paramount importance for the Swiss financial center. That is why AMAS, the SBA and the SIA reject any form of greenwashing.
Based on this motivation, AMAS, the SBA and the SIA have already taken measures in 2022 to prevent greenwashing and ensure the credibility of the Swiss financial center. In June 2022, SBA published two self-regulations in the area of sustainable finance with minimum requirements for the consideration of sustainability criteria in investment advice as well as asset management and mortgage advice. AMAS published the "Self-regulation on transparency and disclosure for sustainability-related collective assets" in September 2022. These self-regulations have been in force since 1 January 2023 and 30 September 2023 respectively. SIA is currently drafting a self-regulation for unit-linked life insurance products that builds on the self-regulations of the SBA and AMAS, which is expected to be adopted in the first quarter of 2024.
Self-regulation as an effective and flexible regulatory basis
Regarding the Swiss financial center, AMAS, the SBA and the SIA are convinced that, with the self-regulations, an effective and flexible set of rules exists that avoids greenwashing in the Swiss financial industry. It is the appropriate and, compared to principle-based regulation, more flexible instrument to avoid greenwashing. Irrespective of possible regulatory developments, the self-regulations will therefore be further developed in the coming years to always ensure effective guidelines for the Swiss financial center to prevent greenwashing.
Internationally compatible principle-based regulation
In the case of a possible future principle-based regulation, AMAS, the SBA and the SIA demand that the latter should cover all players in the Swiss financial center and all specific financial products related to sustainability in the sense of a level playing field. Furthermore, they assume that Swiss regulation is compatible with international regulations and will avoid any kind of "Swiss Finish".
AMAS, the SBA and the SIA will continue to fully support the Federal Council in its efforts and actively engage in dialogue with the authorities to jointly strengthen Switzerland's position as a leading hub for sustainable finance.
The Asset Management Association Switzerland is the representative association of the Swiss asset management industry. It aims to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a leading center for asset management with high standards of quality, performance, and sustainability. To this end, it supports its members in developing the Swiss asset management industry and adding value for investors over the long term. The Asset Management Association Switzerland is an active member of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and the International Investment Funds Association (IIFA). Founded in Basel in 1992, the Asset Management Association Switzerland currently has around 180 members.
About the SBA
As the umbrella association and voice of Swiss banks, the Swiss Bankers Association is committed to ensuring optimal framework conditions for the Swiss financial centre both at home and abroad. The SBA represents the banking industry’s interests vis-à-vis the private sector, policymakers, the government and the supervisory authorities. It advocates for open markets, scope for entrepreneurial freedom and a level playing field. As a centre of competence, it propagates banking expertise and actively engages in future topics. The SBA was founded in Basel in 1912, and its membership comprises around 235 institutions and some 12,000 individuals.
About the SIA
The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) represents the interests of the private insurance industry at national and international level. The association has approximately 70 members, which include many nationally oriented specialist non-life, life and supplementary health insurers, and global primary insurers and reinsurers. The sector is one of the most productive and highest value-added sectors of the economy. The private insurance sector employs about 50,000 people in Switzerland. With its expertise in risk coverage and hazard prevention, it assumes economic responsibility. Private insurers make a significant contribution to the stability of the economic system and prosperity within Switzerland. With that in mind, the SIA is committed to the sustainable development of the sector and its locations.
Peter Hody, Communications Manager
Tel. 061 278 98 04, peter [dot] hodyam-switzerland [dot] ch
Monika Dunant, Head Public & Media Relarions
Tel. 058 330 63 95, mediasba [dot] ch
Deborah Jungo-Schwalm, Senior Communications Manager
Tel. 058 330 62 73, mediasba [dot] ch
Sibylle Zumstein, Spokesperson
Tel. 044 208 28 21, mediasvv [dot] ch