The new Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) came into force on 1 January 2020. Among other things, it is intended to strengthen investor protection and the Swiss financial centre and to create comparable conditions for financial service providers.
When we provide you with financial services such as the execution of securities transactions (execution-only), investment advisory services or asset management, or when we grant you credit for the execution of such transactions, we must comply with various rules of conduct, particularly with regard to information, organisation, documentation and advertising.
For clients who are domiciled in Switzerland or outside the EU/EEA and who obtain a financial service according to FinSA (for instance, hold a portfolio), the provisions of FinSA apply as of 1 January 2021. Clients who are under the care of the departments “EAM Desk” and “Institutional Investors” are exempt from this. These clients will be informed about the switch to FinSA in the second half of 2021.
Comprehensive information on St.Galler Kantonalbank AG (SGKB) can be found here:
Comprehensive information on St.Galler Kantonalbank AG can be found here:
The Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA) classifies clients domiciled in Switzerland as retail clients, professional clients or institutional clients. This segmentation ensures additional regulatory protection and is based on the personal financial circumstances or the level of knowledge, experience and financial expertise of a person or the legally defined size of a company or professional treasury.
Natural persons and small and medium-sized companies are generally classified as retail clients. Large companies, pension funds and financial intermediaries are classified as professional or institutional clients. Unless we inform you otherwise, you will be classified as a retail client, which means that you enjoy the most comprehensive client protection.
If you meet the necessary requirements, you can apply to change your classification. To do so, simply contact your client advisor.
You can find more information on the various client classifications here:
The KID contains essential information to enable investors to make an informed investment decision and compare different financial instruments. This information does not constitute advertising. SGKB works together with established partners to offer you the KID and its language versions currently available on the market. The KID is not offered for equities, securities equivalent to equities and debt securities without a derivative character.
Before buying or subscribing to a financial instrument, you can access the KID free of charge in SGKB e-banking or on this website.
The KID contains important information and informs investors about the following topics:
- The name of the financial instrument and the identity of the issuer
- The type and characteristics of the financial instrument
- The risk/return profile of the financial instrument, indicating the maximum loss that investors may incur on the capital invested
- The costs of the financial instrument
- The minimum holding period and tradability of the financial instrument
- Information on the authorisations and approvals associated with the financial instrument
St.Galler Kantonalbank AG (SGKB) may receive compensation from third parties (so-called third-party payments) in connection with the provision of financial services.
The attached fact sheet informs you as a client about the third-party payments that SGKB may receive in connection with the provision of financial services.
You can find more information on third-party payments here:
As a financial services provider, SGKB ensures that, when executing your orders, the best possible result is achieved in terms of costs, timing and quality. We have summarised the execution principles for you in a comprehensive fact sheet:
Transactions with financial instruments involve opportunities and risks. It is therefore important that you as an investor know and understand these risks before entering into a financial services transaction.
In the brochure “Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments” published by the Swiss Bankers Association (November 2019), you will find general information on typical financial services as well as on the distinctive features and risks of financial instruments. Please familiarise yourself with this information before concluding a trade and contact your client advisor if you have any questions.
You can find the risk disclosure brochure here:
If required, you can obtain a printed copy of the brochure from any SGKB branch, free of charge.
Acting in the interests of customers is the guiding principle that shapes our customer relationship. We expect diligence and lawful and professional behavior and action from our employees at all times, observance of market standards and, in particular, constant observation of customer interests.
You can find more information on the conflicts of interest here:
Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)
The AEOI is implemented in Switzerland under the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOI Act) and the corresponding ordinance (AEOI Ordinance). The AEOI aims to prevent tax evasion when assets are held abroad by requiring financial institutions, insurance companies and investment undertakings to collect financial information about their clients liable to tax abroad and to report this information annually to the competent authorities of the client’s country of residence via their national tax authority. St.Galler Kantonalbank AG must also comply with the AEOI. This means that, on the one hand, it is required to identify and document the tax domicile of its clients and, on the other hand, it must report certain client and financial data to the FTA on an annual basis.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA)
FATCA stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and is a unilateral U.S. tax law that aims to procure information worldwide to combat tax evasion by U.S. persons. It is primarily aimed at financial institutions worldwide and requires them to periodically provide the U.S. tax authorities with information on so-called U.S. accounts.
To facilitate compliance with these requirements, Switzerland has concluded a treaty with the USA and has enacted a FATCA law on this basis. Based on this law, Swiss financial institutions, including St.Galler Kantonalbank AG (SGKB), are required to identify all U.S. persons, document them and report periodically to the IRS. If a person refuses to provide the relevant information, a 30-per-cent withholding tax must be withheld and paid to the IRS. In addition, this person must be reported anonymously to the IRS in an aggregated report as part of the annual reporting process. Based on this, the USA has the option to submit a group request to the Swiss Federal Tax Authority to obtain the reportable information of these anonymously reported clients. SGKB is not willing to enter into client relationships with persons who refuse to provide the requested information.
A client is considered a U.S. person, and therefore taxable in the United States, if (alternatively):
- they are resident in the USA
- they have American citizenship (including dual citizens)
- they have a green card
- they have resided in the USA for at least 183 days in the current and previous two years.
U.S. persons are identified when a new client relationship is opened by obtaining a specific self-certification. If a person indicates that they are taxable in the USA, they must sign the official U.S. form W-9 and a waiver so that they can be properly reported to the U.S. tax authorities. In addition, further bank-specific requirements must be met in order to open an account at all. If a person refuses to provide the necessary information, it is not possible to open an account. When opening a business relationship, entities must also complete a self-certification to clarify their FATCA status and classify themselves as an active, passive or other entity or financial institution (see also the fact sheet on the classification of companies for FATCA and AEOI above).
Qualified Intermediary Agreement (QI)
In 2001, the USA introduced a new withholding tax procedure for income and equity on U.S. securities. Since then, banks that wish to acquire, hold or sell U.S. direct investments for themselves or their clients are required to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With this agreement, the banks undertake to identify and document their clients in accordance with U.S. rules if the clients wish to hold U.S. securities. The aim of the agreement is to ensure that U.S. clients are reported to the IRS on the one hand, and that U.S. withholding tax is correctly levied and paid to the IRS on U.S. income received by non-U.S. clients on the other. In return, the banks may grant non-U.S. clients a reduced U.S. withholding tax rate on U.S. income in accordance with the double taxation agreements with the USA.
St.Galler Kantonalbank has entered into such an agreement with the IRS and has since been granted Qualified Intermediary (QI) status. It is therefore obliged to comply with the above-mentioned regulations.
The identification and documentation of clients is carried out in the same way as for FATCA: a self-certification must be completed and signed to clarify the QI status when a new client relationship is opened or, in the case of existing clients, at the latest before the acquisition of U.S. securities. If a person indicates that they are taxable in the USA, they must sign the official U.S. form W-9 and a waiver so that the subsequent reports can be made correctly. There are no further formalities for natural persons who are not taxable in the USA. They may hold U.S. securities and benefit from the U.S. withholding tax rate applicable to their country of residence under the double taxation agreement with the USA. Entities must fill out specific internal forms to determine the status relevant for QI.
Since September 3, 2020, new information and disclosure requirements have been in force in connection with the EU Shareholder Rights Directive II ("SRDII").
The Directive is intended to facilitate direct communication between companies domiciled in a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA) and their investors and to facilitate the exercise of shareholder rights. For further details on the main changes resulting from the Shareholder Rights Directive II, please refer to the following links:
St.Galler Kantonalbank AG
BIC / Swiftcode
Handelsregister Kanton St. Gallen
|Board of Directors||
Thomas A. Gutzwiller, Chairman
|Management Board||Christian Schmid,Chairman
Falk Kohlmann, Head of Service Center
René Walser, Head of Retail and Commercial Clients
Patrick Graf, Head of Corporate Center
Hanspeter Wohlwend, Head of Private Banking
|Address St.Galler Kantonalbank||St.Galler Kantonalbank Ltd.
St. Leonhardstrasse 25
CH-9001 St. Gallen
T 071 231 31 31
Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht FINMA
Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht FINMA
Telefon: +41 31 327 91 00
Fax: +41 31 327 91 01
Procedure before the ombudsman service
In case of disputes about legal claims between the client and SGKB, the client is entitled to contact the Swiss Banking Ombudsman (i.e. Swiss Banking Ombudsman, Bahnhofplatz 9, CH-8021 Zurich). This procedure is free of costs for the client concerned and aims to resolve the legal dispute by means of dispute resolution and reconciliation. As a rule, the ombudsman will only be appointed after a written client complaint has been received, together with a corresponding statement from the bank.