How important are structured products to the Swiss financial center?
In recent years, structured products have become innovative, highly flexible investment instruments. The more than 20 product types have turned Switzerland into an internationally leading innovator that has demonstrated its strength again and again. For instance, to minimize issuer risk, Switzerland’s SIX and SSPA came out with COSI products (collateral secured instruments, see below) just months after the Lehman Brothers collapse. Structured products have evolved into an ‘export hit’, much valued internationally. New products such as this have given a significant boost to the Swiss financial center’s reputation for innovation. Structured products have helped improve the Swiss economy’s liquidity, i.e. companies’ ability to hold or borrow capital in Switzerland’s capital market. These instruments have also created 3,000 top-rated jobs, directly and indirectly. According to the Swiss National Bank, some CHF 190 billion are currently invested in structured products at Swiss banks (assets under management) – some 5% of the asset total managed in Switzerland.