On a beautiful late summer morning in Zürich, the new president of the Swiss Bankers’ Association was in a good mood as he looked out of his office across to the majestic mountains on the other side of Lake Zürich. And there is reason for Mr. Scheidt to be cheerful.
Elected unanimously to one of the most powerful jobs in the Swiss banking industry just two weeks ago, Mr. Scheidt’s appointment marks the first time the position has been filled by a German-born candidate, though for the last eight years the 64-year old has held joint Swiss as well as German nationality.
If only the same cheerfulness could be said for the troubled Swiss banks that he now represents. The country’s banking sector has had to transform itself from a model based on bank secrecy, not to mention being saddled with the “economic nonsense” of negative interest rates, he said.