CEO
State­ments

Marc Bürki, what comes to your mind when you hear the following words?

RECORD FIGURES

RECORD FIGURES

Net revenues of CHF 472 million and pre-tax profit of CHF 223 million − these are results we can be proud of. These record figures reflect the impressive commitment of our 952 employees and the profound trust shown by our clients, who hold more than CHF 55 billion in assets with Swissquote.

PARTNERSHIPS

PARTNERSHIPS

PARTNERSHIPS

PARTNERSHIPS

We shouldn’t be afraid of reaching out if working with partners means we can achieve our goals more quickly and effectively. We launched the all-new Yuh finance app with PostFinance. Since the beginning of 2022, we have been working with Luzerner Kantonal­bank to offer standardised online mortgages with particularly attractive terms. Finally, Swissquote began assisting goals of a different kind by signing a three-year partnership with UEFA recently.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES

We have always believed that demand for crypto­currencies would grow. Our clients can now trade more than 25 virtual currencies with us, which means Swissquote now offers the widest range of cryptos of any bank in Switzerland.

TRUST

TRUST

TRUST

We are harnessing digitisation to become the world’s most advanced and intuitive online bank. We are constantly aware that we can only achieve this if people trust us. Trust is the foundation on which all of our relationships with our stakeholders is built.

Letter to the share­holders

Swissquote’s annual results confirmed that 2021 was a record year. Thanks to strong growth dynamics on the client side, the communicated medium-term profit targets set initially for 2024 were already reached by the end of 2021. Operating income increased by 38.2 percent year-on-year to CHF 471.8 million, while operating profit reached a record high of CHF 223.3 million (target for 2024 was CHF 200 million), an increase of 111.4 percent. Profitability, with an operating profit margin of 47.3 percent, increased strongly thanks to higher trading volumes and more customer accounts (+77,599). With organic net new money inflow hitting a record high of CHF 9.6 billion, client assets grew to CHF 55.9 billion. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend be increased by 46.7 percent from CHF 1.50 to CHF 2.20 per share.

Revenues set new records year after year

At CHF 471.8 million (CHF 341.3 million), operating income was at its highest level to date, having risen by 38.2 percent year-on-year. Net fee and commission income rose by 62.5 percent to CHF 263.2 million (CHF 162.0 million) due to strong growth in trading accounts and increased trading activity. Trading activity was particularly strong in crypto assets as this asset class continued to move towards broader acceptance among both private and institutional investors. Net trading income rose by 21.7 percent to CHF 192.8 million (CHF 158.4 million). As expected, net interest income dropped by 24.6 percent to CHF 15.8 million (CHF 21.0 million) due to the persisting negative/low interest rate environment.

Operating expenses in line with growth ambitions

At CHF 247.5 million (CHF 211.7 million), operating expenses were 16.9 percent higher than in the previous year, due mainly to the rise in payroll and related expenses as well as marketing expenses. In 2021, Swissquote launched a set of ambitious initiatives to strengthen its brand awareness outside of Switzerland, such as the 3-year sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League. At the end of 2021, Swissquote had a workforce of 952 employees (+18.3 percent).

Net profit exceeds expectations

The combination of revenues and expenses brought a 111.4 percent increase in operating profit to CHF 223.3 million (CHF 105.6 million), and resulted in an operating profit margin of 47.3 percent (30.9 percent) for 2021. Net profit more than doubled year-on-year to CHF 193.1 million (CHF 91.0 million). This is the result of strong organic growth and a diversified and innovative product offering, which enabled Swissquote to capture the operational leverage provided by its technology.

Sound capital base and increased dividend per share

Swissquote successfully combined top profitability and organic growth with a strong capital ratio of 26.2 percent. As of the end of 2021, Swissquote exhibits a solid and well-capitalised balance sheet of CHF 9053.8 million. Total equity increased by 39.8 percent to CHF 615.5 million (CHF 440.2 million). The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting of 6 May 2022 that the dividend be increased by 46.7 percent from CHF 1.50 to CHF 2.20 per share.

Record-high organic net money inflow and client assets

The net new money inflow continued to increase to CHF 9.6 billion in 2021 (CHF 5.3 billion). This trend is attributable to Swissquote’s international expansion (52% of the net new monies were related to customers resident abroad), as well as to its unique positioning for mass affluent customers. Client assets rose by 40.5 percent to CHF 55.9 billion (CHF 39.8 billion) thanks to net new money inflow, but also to the positive market environment. Per customer, this equates to a healthy average deposit in excess of CHF 110,000. The total number of accounts reached 487,847 (+18.9 percent) by the end of 2021.

Benelux as second home market

With the acquisition of Keytrade Bank Luxembourg, Swissquote has reinforced its positioning in the Benelux area as a market leader in online trading and investing. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022 and will bring in somewhat more than 8,200 new customers and EUR 1.7 billion in client assets. With this move, Swissquote confirms its ambitious expansion strategy in Europe and more generally outside of Switzerland.

Corporate Governance and compensation

During the year, Swissquote intensified and further structured its dialogue with shareholders, giving it the opportunity to discuss topics such as corporate governance, compensation and sustainability. All the points raised have been reviewed and evaluated. On this basis, disclosures have been improved and a number of decisions aimed at enhancing the company’s framework and policies have been made.

After reviewing all the comments received on the Executive Management’s Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP), the Board of Directors decided to retain the stock option plan. The Board of Directors believes that it is an adequate incentive for a growth company to work towards further value creation. This applies as long as the strike price is above the market value of the underlying at the time of allocation. Nevertheless, in order to better meet the expectations of our investors, the vesting period of stock options granted to Executive Management will be harmonized to three years from 2022 onwards. Furthermore, caps to the LTIP were adopted.

Regarding the Short Term Incentive Plan (STIP) of the Executive Management, the adjustments introduced in the previous Remuneration Report in order to increase transparency with regard to the achievement of the objectives set to the Executive Management, have been well received by investors. In the 2021 Remuneration Report, transparency has been further increased by providing the complete list of objectives, the weighting of these objectives and the achievement per objective and category of objectives.

We greatly appreciated the active participation of our shareholders and the time they have devoted. We would like to maintain and further expand this exchange in the future.

More focus on ESG objectives

While last year was marked by the release of our first Sustainability Report, the current year was used to carry out gap analyses and implement additional measures with the aim of attaining Swissquote’s sustainability goals. For 2022, the Board of Directors has decided to give a higher weighting (15 percent) to ESG as part of the objectives set to the Executive Management. This Board’s decision confirms the importance of ESG for Swissquote.

COVID-19

In general, the COVID-19 pandemic has not negatively impacted Swissquote. Although greater customer interest and higher trading volumes led to an increase in operating income and operating profit, the Board considers this positive impact to have been marginal. No public subsidies, redundancies or short-time work/exemption schemes (furlough) were required in 2021. We have always given the utmost priority to the safety and well-being of our employees, as well as to ensuring the highest level of IT security required for home-working.

Guidance for 2022

During the two first months of 2022, customer growth continued its strong trend with CHF 1.4 billion of net new monies. Swissquote’s growth story will be able to offset the difficult market environment and, despite the current geopolitical uncertainty, Swissquote expects to replicate its very successful year 2021. In 2022, operating income is expected at CHF 475 million (+0.7%) and operating profit at CHF 225 million (+0.7%).

Thanks

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Executive Management, we would like to thank our clients, who, by actively using our platform and providing a wide spectrum of informed feedback, are making a key contribution to Swissquote’s business success and therefore its long-term solidity and growth. We attach great importance to their suggestions and requests, as well as their criticism, all of which help to drive us forward. Furthermore, in this exceptional year, we would like to thank our shareholders for the trust they place in us, and all employees for their personal commitment and willingness to push the boundaries time after time. And finally, we also owe a debt of gratitude to our cooperation partners for their unfailing expertise and support in helping us to grow our business.

Markus Dennler
Chairman of the Board
Marc Bürki
Chief Executive Officer

Highlights 2021

Mar

Record-breaking results and profit set to double by 2024

Swissquote reported more than 400ʼ000 accounts for the first time as well as record client assets of CHF 39.8 billion for the 2020 financial year, while pre-tax profit more than doubled.

Apr

21 crypto­currencies

In addition to the 12 most important crypto­currencies, investors can also trade Aave, Algorand, Cardano, Compound and Cosmos, as well as Filecoin, Maker, Uniswap and yearn.finance. With 21 virtual currencies currently available to trade, Swissquote has the most comprehensive crypto­currency trading offering of any bank in Switzerland.

May

Yuh is here

On Tuesday, 11 May 2021, Swissquote and PostFinance unveiled their shared digital finance app Yuh. This jointly developed finance app includes features never before offered by similar services in Switzer­land. With the Yuh app, customers can pay or save with their smart­phone and invest in more than 100 of the world’s most popular stocks, ETFs, trending themes and numerous crypto­currencies.

Jun

Luzerner Kantonal­bank partners with Swissquote’s mortgage business

Swissquote announced that Luzerner Kantonal­bank (LUKB) will be its exclusive mortgage partner from 1 January 2022. The two banks will jointly offer online mortgages for home financing and mortgage redemption. The standardised product structure and automated processes make it quick and easy to process mortgages with attractive terms and conditions.

Aug

Record half-year results

Swissquote reported net revenues of CHF 264.4 million for the first half of 2021, an increase of 64.5% compared to the prior-year period. Pre-tax profit rose even further, climbing by 130.4% to CHF 134.6 million. Net new money inflow reached CHF 4.9 billion in the first six months of the year, while client assets totalled a record CHF 50.2 billion as of 30 June 2021. More than 40% of the organic growth in client assets was achieved with inter­national clients.

Sep

Swissquote becomes UEFA sponsor

Swissquote and UEFA agreed a three-year partner­ship. Among other things, the agreement covers perimeter advertising and hospitality at all 282 games of the UEFA Europa League and the newly founded UEFA Europa Conference League seasons. With this presence inside football stadiums, Swissquote aims to increase brand recognition and support further growth.

Values
delivered

Swissquote strives to deliver sustainable value to all its stakeholders. Learn what we have done in 2021.

Employees

Expectations and deliverables

Swissquote as an attractive and trusted employer in the financial sector

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Fair, competitive and performance-related remuneration
  • Inspiring work environment
  • Exceptional work-life balance (part-time work and working from home already in place for many years)
  • Promotion and development of individual skills together with continuing training and education
  • Ample career opportunities

Respect and recognition, diversity

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Equal opportunities for all employees
  • Fair-ON-Pay certificate for fair wages received in 2021
  • All employees are welcome at Swissquote regardless of their age, nationality, culture, language or background. We accept our differences and view diversity as a valuable asset.

High levels of job satisfaction / motivation / employee engagement

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Regular employee events as well as Q&A sessions with management
  • Annual employee motivation survey: more than 81 percent of the participants reported a high level of motivation despite the difficult situation caused by the pandemic
  • Glassdoor ranking rose to four out of five

Clients

Expectations and deliverables

Unique client experience and exceptional banking services

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Yuh digital financial app launched in partnership with PostFinance
  • Access to over 3 million products
  • Attractive range of online mortgage products in partnership with Luzerner Kantonalbank
  • Trading expanded to include 25 crypto­currencies
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) improved again in 2021 study
  • Satisfaction score of 5.9 (out of 7.0) in the International Client Satisfaction Survey

Sensible and transparent fee structure

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Competitive prices from CHF 9.–
  • Flat fee trades
  • No account management fees

Stable system with easy and secure access

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Client data protected with the highest level of information security on the market
  • Progressive business continuity strategy developed

Society and environment

Expectations and deliverables

Social respon­sibility and integrity; support for local community

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Sponsorship of local events
  • Member of university and association committees including EPFL, Fondation pour l’innovation technologique (FIT), Center for Digital Trust (C4DT), Publibike (E-bike station in Gland)
  • Donations to charitable organisations (e.g. “Trade for Good” campaign in collaboration with Caritas Switzerland)

Sustainabilty

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Full Sustainability Report drafted and published in accordance with GRI Standards (Core option)

Recording and reporting progress on environmental impacts

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Increase our CO2 savings by approximately 7 tons per year over ten years
  • Paper consumption reduced (by giving clients the opportunity to open online-only accounts)
  • Server sites optimised to reduce cooling requirements
  • Lighting system modernised to lower energy consumption

Financial world

Expectations and deliverables

Rising share price

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Share price up 126 percent from January to December 2021

Sustainable returns, attractive dividends

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • 2021 earnings per share: CHF 12.96 (equivalent to 111.6% growth compared to 2020)

Transparent communication and investor relationships based on trust

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Half-yearly presentation of financial results
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Investor roadshows
  • Individual meetings with investor

Operational excellence and above-average growth rate

Values delivered by Swissquote in 2021

  • Total number of accounts up 18.9 percent
  • Net revenue up 48.9 percent to CHF 472.5 million
  • Net profit up 112.2 percent to CHF 193.1 million