The Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland AFBS


The AFBS is the largest banking association in Switzerland, except the Swiss Bankers' Association SBA where nearly all banks, including most foreign banks, are affiliated. The AFBS is represented on the Board of the SBA and in its relevant steering groups and commissions and committees. The AFBS is also represented on the Board of esisuisse, the Depositor Protection Scheme, the Bank Employer's Association adn the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association. As many foreign banks are shareholders of SIX Group, the AFBS is represented on the Board of SIX Group.


Currently the Association has 113 members: 96 banks - mostly subsidiaries or branches of a foreign bank, but also some banks whose principal shareholder are foreign private persons, holding companies or non-bank institutes located abroad. Furthermore, the Association counts 8 foreign-owned non-bank financial services providers as well as 9 observers which are Swiss banks and other Swiss non-bank financial services providers.

Association Activities

  • Interest Representation
  • Information
  • Public Affairs


  • Official Representation
    • Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, Swiss National Bank SNB and Federal Administration
    • Swiss Bankers' Association SBA, SIX and Swiss Finance Institute SFI
  • Public Affairs
    • Media Contacts
    • Articles and Interviews
    • Contacts with associations and authorities abroad


  • AFBS News: five times a year in four languages: LINK
  • MOFAQs: Most Frequently Asked Question
  • AFBSecure: members' only area
    • AFBS Info: Legal&Compliance, Tax, Regulation&Accounting, Products&Operations, Human Resources&Training
    • AFBS Checklist Regulatory. twice a year synopsis on regulatory developments, in DE, FR and EN
    • AFBS Topics: Information on key issues of interest


  • AFBS Working Groups / Discussion Groups
    • Legal&Compliance, HR (Zürich), Trade Finance (Geneva), Ostschweizer Treffen, AFBS Group Lugano, AFBS Group Retail (Geneva), KMB (CEOs of small and medium-sized foreign banks in Zürich)
  • AFBS Conferences
    • Regular meetings on regulatory and strategic topics
    • in Geneva, Zürich and Lugano
    • AFBS Roundtables
      • Meetings and Seminars on topical matters
      • Depending on interest and suggestions from member banks
      • in Geneva, Zurich and Lugano

Organisation of the Association

  • Member Banks
    • most also affiliated to the SBA
  • Board
    • reflects the banking group's diversity: country of origin, Swiss financial centres, bank's size
    • rotation principle
  • Secretariat (3 persons)
  • Representation in Commissions and Committees of the SBA
    • member banks' staff or Secretariat
  • AFBS Groups (working group on topics of interest)

AFBS Board

  • Determines strategic positioning of the AFBS
  • Represents the foreign banks in the SBA
  • Is in touch with the FINMA, the SNB and the Federal Administration
  • Elects representatives to the various commissions and working groups

    Comissions and Committees

  • Representation of foreign banks in SBA Commissions and Committees
  • Information of the Board, the AFBS Groups and the members
    • directly
    • through the Secretariat
    • in information meetings
  • Representation of the foreign banks towards the FINMA, the SNB and the Federal Administration
  • Presentation of points of interst to the various bodies