The cantonal banks (German: Kantonalbank, French: banque cantonale, Italian: banca cantonale) are 24 Swiss government-owned commercial banks. Most of them were founded between 1834 and 1916, although the Banque cantonale du Jura was founded in 1979. 21 are provided by the canton in which they are based with a guarantee for the assets held there.
Traditionally, cantonal banks are especially strong in savings and mortgage products. Currently they are in the process of being partially privatised. The cantonal banks are organised and regulated by the Association of Swiss Cantonal Banks, with its office in Basel.
As a group, the cantonal banks account for about 30% of the banking sector in Switzerland, with a network of over 800 branches and 16 000 employees in Switzerland. In 2014 consolidated total assets of all cantonal banks accounted around 500 bln CHF, which is comparable with those of the "Big Banks": UBS and Credit Suisse. Cantonal Banks offer 100% deposit insurance to their clients, whereas Swiss-domiciled Banks are insured the maximum of 100,000 CHF via the esisuisse deposit insurance scheme.
There are 24 cantonal banks, one in each canton of the country, except for the cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, which sold its bank to banking rival UBS, and Solothurn, which privatised its bank in 1995 after a scandal. Each bank uses a distinctive motif as the logo, with a cantonal colour on white used as the colours of the bank, e.g. light blue for Zürcher Kantonalbank (Zurich Cantonal Bank). Despite appearances, cantonal banks are not small private banks: in fact two of them, the Zürcher Kantonalbank and the Banque cantonale vaudoise, are the third and fourth biggest banks in Switzerland (after UBS and Credit Suisse).
List of cantonal banks
Notes and references
- Cantonal Banks
- Nichols, Dustin I., and Mark A. Ziebold. Asset Protection Strategies & Forms. LexisNexis, 16 Nov. 2018, p. 634.
- Kraus, Daniel, et al. Blockchains, Smart Contracts, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations and the Law. Cheltenham, Uk ; Northampton, Ma, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019, p. 206.