For two years, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been warning about the risks in the real estate market. By activating its anti-cyclical buffer in February 2013, Switzerland is entering new territory. This instrument is a component of the Basel III regulatory framework. It stipulates that the banks must increase their equity capital. The additional buffer is limited to mortgage loans for the financing of residential property in Switzerland and should amount to one percent of the respective risk-weighted positions; it is to be implemented from autumn 2013. In the estimation of the SNB and the Swiss Federal Council, the risk of a crisis is too high in order for them to rely solely on the system of self-regulation by banks in the mortgage lending business, and on the specific monitoring of individual banking institutes by the Swiss Federal Financial Market Authority (FINMA).The LLB Group already has available sufficient equity capital, but it is carefully monitoring developments.
A further issue which banks are addressing is the new role of bank branches. A decisive criteria will be the possibility of linking bank branches and internet banking. The bank branch will become an alternative to internet banking for clients who do not wish to use the internet as a means of access to their bank. The client experience of a bank will be characterized by an interlocking concept of mobile, web-based and stationary banking services. Modern infrastructure employed in an innovative manner will generate substantial added value, but the task will be not to design high-tech islands in the form of branches, but rather banking zones in which the client feels comfortable. With the opening of its new branch in Eschen in December 2012, the LLB Group has created a modern, communicative bank branch of this type.