Raiffeisen Group structure
The 255 Raiffeisen banks with a total of 883 branches (excluding branches of Raiffeisen Switzerland) are legally and organisationally independent cooperatives which elect their own Boards of Directors and have an independent auditor. The banks' strategic management is adapted to regional conditions. The Raiffeisen banks are owned by the cooperative members, which may be natural persons or legal entities. They elect the Members of the Board of Directors of their bank at local General Meetings. If the bank has more than 500 members, the General Meeting may decide by three-quarters majority of the votes cast to transfer its powers to a Delegate Meeting or to move to paper voting (secret ballot).
Resolutions and elections require an absolute majority of the votes, except where the law or Articles of Association provide otherwise. In the event of a tied vote, the matter is debated further and a second vote held. If this too is tied, the motion will be rejected. The Raiffeisen bank Board of Directors, or – if necessary – the auditor for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations, calls the General Meeting a minimum of five days in advance. The invitation must be personally addressed in writing to the members and include the agenda. The annual financial statements and balance sheet must be made available in client areas at the same time.
The number of Raiffeisen banks fell from 270 to 255 in the current year as a result of various mergers. The ongoing restructuring process enables the individual Raiffeisen banks to optimally align their activities with changes in their regional markets. The number of Raiffeisen banks will continue to decline over the next few years. At the same time, Raiffeisen's presence in urban centres was expanded further. Raiffeisen opened one new location in 2017.
Raiffeisen by canton as at 31 December 20171
Raiffeisen banks own 100% of Raiffeisen Switzerland. Raiffeisen Switzerland is a cooperative. Any bank with a cooperative structure that recognises the Articles of Association of Raiffeisen banks and the Articles of Association and regulations of Raiffeisen Switzerland can join.
Raiffeisen Switzerland bears responsibility for the Raiffeisen Group's business policy and strategy and acts as a centre of competence for the entire Group. Its responsibilities include risk controlling, central bank functions (monetary settlement, liquidity maintenance and refinancing), interbank business and securities trading. Raiffeisen Switzerland also informs, advises and supports the Raiffeisen banks in management, marketing, business, information technology, training, human resources and legal services. In addition, it represents Raiffeisen's national and international interests. Raiffeisen Switzerland directly manages six branches with ten retail offices, which are involved in client business.
The Raiffeisen banks are grouped into 21 regional unions organised as associations. The unions act as links between Raiffeisen Switzerland and the individual Raiffeisen banks. The duties of the regional unions include coordinating regional advertising activities, holding training events for the Raiffeisen banks, safeguarding and representing the interests of the Raiffeisen banks in dealings with the cantonal business associations and authorities, and organising delegate elections for the Raiffeisen Switzerland Delegate Meeting.
Group companies are defined as all majority interests with more than 50% of the voting capital held by Raiffeisen Switzerland or its subsidiaries. The key fully-consolidated Group companies and the shareholdings valued according to the equity method are listed in note 7 (companies in which the bank holds a permanent direct or indirect significant participation). Raiffeisen Group companies have no cross-shareholdings. The following diagram shows the consolidated companies.