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Switzerland 2009 FPA-EAME Country Presentation. Jonathan Lachowitz CFP(R) [email protected] Map of Switzerland. Key Statistics. Founded in 1291 Known for political and economic stability Located in the heart of Europe

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Switzerland 2009 fpa eame country presentation l.jpg

Switzerland 2009FPA-EAME Country Presentation

Jonathan Lachowitz CFP(R)

[email protected]



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Key Statistics

  • Founded in 1291

  • Known for political and economic stability

  • Located in the heart of Europe

  • Population 7.6 million - Ranked 95th in the world

  • 2008 GDP (At PPP) $310 Billion Ranked 39th in the world

  • 2008 GDP per Capita $41,000, Ranked 17th in the world

  • 4 National Languages: German (64%), French (20%), Italian (7%) And Romansch (1%) Other (8%)

  • Religion: 80% Catholic or Protestant

  • Life Expectancy at Birth 81 (78 men, 84 women)

  • Fertility rate low 1.45 children/woman

  • 21% of the country’s population are foreigners 26% of children under 6 don’t have Swiss nationality

  • After Germany, the US and France are the biggest destinations for Swiss Living Abroad.


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Key Economic Information

  • Currency Swiss Franc

  • Very low long term inflation rate <3%

  • Unemployment ~3%

  • Key Industries: Watches, Tourism, Banking and Insurance, Chemicals, Machinery

  • Reserves of Foreign Currency and Gold $75 Billion


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Geography

  • 41,000 Square Kilometers (About 2x the size of New Jersey)

  • Borders: Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Lichtenstein

  • Mostly mountains with a central plateau and many large lakes; <10% arable land

  • Excellent transportation infrastructure: Roads, Rail, Buses, Boats and Airports

  • Rhone and Rhine rivers start in Switzerland


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Political Structure

  • Divided into Federal, Cantonal and Communal Governments

  • 26 Cantons

  • About 2900 Communes

  • Very strong tradition of direct democracy and decentralized decision making

  • Federal Council has 7 members; Each year a different member becomes president

  • Legislative Branch divided into two Chambers: 1) National Council and 2) Council of Cantons


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Taxes

  • Income tax levied at Federal, Cantonal and Communal Level

  • Federal top rate: 11.5%

  • Cantonal and Communal can go up to 35% though varies greatly

  • AVS (Social Security tax) 10.1% (half employee and half employer)

  • Wealth tax – 0% to 1.5% per year, progressive

  • Value Added Tax – 7.6%

  • Capital Gains on Real Estate (average 18%, depends on holding period); no capital gains tax on financial gains.

  • Stamp Taxes - .15 to .3% on financial transactions

  • Corporate Taxes vary by Canton; at the Federal level, 8.5%

  • Residents taxed on worldwide income

  • Non residents taxed on income arising from permanent establishments and real estate in Switzerland

  • Several Withholding taxes: 35% on interest and dividends


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Stock Exchanges

  • SMI – Swiss Market Index – Top 20 companies on Swiss Market 85% value

  • http://www.six-swiss-exchange.com/index.html

  • Top 3 Companies Nestle, Novartis, Roche = about 60% of the SMI’s weight

  • Exchange controlled by association of 55 banks

  • 2nd exchange in Switzerland in Bern; 50 Swiss SMEs including Swatch Group


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Banking Industry

  • Over 400 Commercial Banks

  • Financial Sector 14% of GDP, 180,000 employees (5.6% of workforce), 110,000 work in banks

  • About 1/3 of global offshore (outside of country of origin) funds estimated to be in Switzerland

  • Swiss Bankers Association: http://www.swissbanking.org/en/home.htm

  • Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) http://www.finma.ch/e/Pages/default.aspx

  • Central Bank - The Swiss National Bank http://www.snb.ch/en

  • 24 Cantonal Banks

  • Banking in Switzerland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_Switzerland


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Financial Planning

  • SFPO – Swiss Financial Planning Organization licenses CFP® marks in Switzerland – About 250 members, established in 1999

  • IFFP.CH – Institute for Financial Planning – commercially run education in financial planning

  • IAF – Association for Continuing Education in the Financial Industry – about 30 corporate members

  • Investment managers have to be a member of an SRO to control against money laundering


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