A few months ago we have made an analysis of data from the Swiss National Bank. It showed that between January 2008 and August 2009 foreign private assets in Switzerland had declined by 25.9% (whereas domestic private assets declined by only 13.8%). Three months later we have gone back and looked at the latest data, covering the period until November 2009. The data have not improved - on the contrary. Whereas the domestic assets have been stable (decline since beginning of 2008 at 13.9%, just 0.1% worse than in August), the private foreign assets are now down by 28.1% since Jan. 2008, a further decline of 2.2 percentage points. This equals a net decline of more than SFR 20 bn between August and November 2009. In addition, there might be quite a bit of foreign private wealth invested in instituional vehicles like trusts which is not even tracked in this statistic.
Potentially, there could be other reasons for this decline than net money outflow across the border. Yet, it is hard to explain why foreign assets are persistently declining while domestic assets stay relative stable.
Today there is also a analysis on Wealth Bulletin which confirms our data. Wealth Bulletin finds the same trends across many offshore destinations in Europe.
We find that this trend is quite frightening from the point of view of Swiss competitiveness. As we said before, it is the eleventh hour for a change of strategy.