Our membersIn Switzerland, the term "private banker" refers to a specific definition in the Swiss Banking Law. It applies to banks whose legal status is one of sole ownership, registered partnership, limited partnership or limited partnership with shares. The specific status of private banker is justified by the presence within the bank of at least one partner with unlimited liability for the bank's commitments.
This expression is often confronted with the looser term of "private bank", now frequently used in everyday language to describe banks - usually organized as limited companies - whose main activity is asset management, also referred to as "private banking".
In 1997, to stop the increased and abusive use of the term "private banker" by people or establishments not fulfilling the legal definition, the Swiss Private Bankers Association (SPBA) registered the collective trademark "private banker" (in the singular and plural cases and in various languages) with the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
Since then, the SPBA has held the exclusive rights to this name and only its members or other banking establishments meeting the same legal criteria are authorized to use it in Switzerland.
The expression "private banker" evokes images of free enterprise, independent personalities, long-standing tradition, discretion, an open attitude and above all, the mastery of a profession: asset management and securities trading. It is not easy to describe the characteristics of these multifaceted personalities who are conservative yet progressive, steeped in tradition yet unconventional.
The forms chosen by the private bankers for their companies: sole ownership or partnership, share one common feature the &. This symbolizes the banker's unlimited liability, his total commitment to the company, at the heart of which lie his clients and their interests.
A partnership is the ideal legal structure for private bankers whose quality of service and flexibility, innovative capability and independence have earned them renown in international asset management and securities trading, their primary fields of activity.
They reject the general tendency which leads to uniformity, anonymity and bureaucratization. One essential point always distinguishes a private banker from an establishment practising "Private Banking": The private banker is both banker & entrepreneur. The private banker is entirely committed to his company, since he assumes liability to the full extent of his business & personal assets.
The private bankers are confident they will continue to play a major role in the future because they are true professionals, masters of their trade.