Do the Raiffeisen banks (loan associations) have a secret recipe for success?

February 19, 1999
100-Jahr-Jubiläum der Raiffeisenbank Bichelsee-Turbenthal, Turbenthal


Switzerland’s first Raiffeisen bank was founded in Bichelsee, canton of Thurgau, a century ago. The purpose of the initiative taken by the local clergyman was to ease the dire financial straits the farming and business community found itself in by letting the people help themselves. The example of Bichelsee was followed by several establishments: today, the Raiffeisen organisation is the number three in the domestic banking industry. This success story is based on several factors. The granting of loan facilities is limited to low-risk commitments to members of the individual banks. The fact that borrowers must be co-owners who are liable to provide additional cover makes the Raiffeisen loan unattractive for high-risk carriers.

The clear focus on security has been remarkably successful, particularly during recent years. On an organisational level, the decisive factor is the combination of decentralised responsibility of the banks with the strong management role of the St Gallen head office. The latter plays a vital role in monitoring business activity and undertaking efforts towards structural adjustments.

The Swiss banking landscape offers the Raiffeisen movement attractive perspectives for the future, provided that it can competently master the challenges posed by a changing environment. It is not new recipes that will be called for but the consistent implementation of tried and tested principles. Limiting itself to core business and respecting the proportions befitting Raiffeisen banks is indispensable.

Download file now

The file can be downloaded with the button below.

Additional files

Related content


  • Bruno Gehrig
    Member of the Governing Board

Your settings

Required: These cookies (e.g. for storing your IP address) cannot be rejected as they are necessary to ensure the operation of the website. These data are not evaluated further.
Analytics: If you consent to this category, data such as IP address, location, device information, browser version and site visitor behaviour will be collected. These data are evaluated for the SNB's internal purposes and are kept for two years.
Third-party: If you consent to this category, third-party services (used, for example, to add social multimedia content to the SNB's website) will be activated which collect personal data, process these data, disclose them abroad - worldwide - and place cookies. The relevant data protection regulations are linked in the 'Privacy statement for the website of the Swiss National Bank'.

Choose your preferred settings:

This website uses cookies, analytics tools and other technologies to provide requested features, content and services, to personalise the content shown, to provide links to social media, and to analyse the use of the website in anonymised form for the purposes of improving usability. Personal data are also disclosed abroad - worldwide - to video service providers and the analytics tools of these providers are used. More information is available under 'Manage settings'.