State guarantee

Principle: By operation of the law (Art. 6 St.Galler Cantonal Banking Act), the canton of St. Gallen is liable for all liabilities undertaken by the St.Galler cantonal bank (the parent bank being SGKB) if the bank's own funds are not sufficient. The government guarantee does not cover the subsidiaries of SGKB.

Comparison to depositor protection

  • The government guarantee covers all customer claims that would not be covered by so-called depositor protection.
  • The Swiss Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks ("Banking Act") states that in the event of a bank collapsing, deposits (e.g. assets on accounts, issued to the customer's name, as well as generally for medium term bonds, which are deposited in the name of the depositor at the issuing bank) of up to CHF 100'000 per depositor will be treated as preferential debt, thus taking priority over the claims of other creditors. This preferential status means that these deposits will be paid out of the insolvent bank's assets and will therefore take priority over claims by other (non-preferential) creditors.
  • Furthermore, the depositor protection scheme for banks and securities dealers guarantees payment of these deposits up to CHF 100,000 in the event of bankruptcy or of protective measures being initiated. If the bank concerned does not have sufficient assets to pay out the deposits, the payment is guaranteed by the other banks.
  • Finally, Swiss law stipulates that preferential deposits must be paid out immediately from the bank's available liquid assets separately from the collocation in the bankruptcy proceedings and in the absence of any set-off of assets of the bank. Secured deposits of up to CHF 100,000 must be paid out within three months of measures being initiated by the FINMA or liquidation proceedings being commenced against the bank.
  • There is a special privilege of CHF 100'000 for deposits from vested benefits foundations and assets held in a Pillar 3a account since the end of 2008. They are deemed to be deposits from individual pension fund members/policy holders and as such are preferential. Preferential status applies (for vested benefits foundations and assets held in a Pillar 3a account together) irrespective of other contributions from the individual pension fund member/policy holder up to a maximum amount of CHF 100,000. However, the deposit protection scheme does not guarantee payment of these deposits.
  • In the event of bankruptcy, any claims above CHF 100'000 would be assigned to the third class of creditors.
  • After completion of the bankruptcy proceedings, in case any of our customers still have claims against SGKB that had either not been covered or if they could no longer be satisfied due to lack of liquidity on the part of the bank, then these claims would be covered by the canton pursuant to the government guarantee.
  • For further information concerning the depositor protection system in Switzerland and references to the legal foundations see


St.Galler Kantonalbank Ltd.
St. Leonhardstrasse 25
9001 St. Gallen

T +41 (0)71 231 31 31 

Postal account: 90-219-8
Clearing-No.: 781