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COMCO access to the labor market: unnecessary and harmful



Zürich, 6.12.2022

The Secretariat of the Competition Commission (COMCO) has opened a preliminary investigation against 34 banks. It wants to examine whether the exchange of information on wages constitutes unlawful agreements within the meaning of the Cartel Act. The Swiss Bank Employees Association considers this access by the Competition Commission to the labor market to be unnecessary and harmful: without the flow of information that is customary in all industries, no collective labor agreement (CLA) – and thus no social partnership – would be possible. The negative consequences would be felt first and foremost by the employees.

Social partnership is a central pillar of economic success and fair pay and working conditions. This also applies to the banking sector, with its tradition of constructive cooperation between employee and employer associations.
This proven interaction, from which employees and banks alike have benefited greatly in recent years, is now being jeopardized by the Competition Commission’s unprovoked access to the industry’s labor market.

No professional negotiations without cross-company preparation
Professional CLA negotiations among social partners are only possible if the negotiating delegations can prepare themselves across companies. It is normal – as in any other industry – for employers to exchange information with each other prior to wage negotiations in the individual banks.
The staff councils, i.e. the employee representatives in the individual banks, also hold talks among themselves in preparation for wage negotiations in their own companies. They are mandated to do so in the CLA and successfully fulfill their task of ensuring good wages for employees.

COMCO to reconsider preliminary clarification
For the Swiss Bank Employees Association, it is clear that there is not a single reason why the Competition Commission should intervene in the functioning social partnership of the industry. The association expects the COMC to reconsider its preliminary clarification in the knowledge of the above facts.

Further information:

Tel: 0848 000 885, e-mail:

Michael von Felten, President SBPV
Tel: 079 37139 57

Social partnership has been cultivated in the banking industry since 1920. The social partners are the Swiss Bank Employees Association, the Commercial Association and Employers Banks. Together, they support the collective labor agreement %22Agreement on Conditions of Employment for Bank Employees%22 (ACEBE). 46 banks, which together employ around 60,000 staff, are subject to the ACEBE.