Notes to the consolidated annual
Trading name, legal form, registered office
The Raiffeisen Group is a bank group without legal personality. It comprises 225 independent Raiffeisen banks in the legal form of a cooperative, Raiffeisen Switzerland domiciled in St.Gallen, and the associated Group companies.
The risks of the Raiffeisen banks and Raiffeisen Switzerland are closely tied together.
Risk management systems are based on statutory provisions, regulations governing risk policy for the Raiffeisen Group (“risk policy” for short) as well as the framework and framework concepts for institute-wide risk management. The risk policy, the framework and the framework concepts are reviewed and updated annually. Raiffeisen Switzerland views entering into risks as one of its core competences. Risks are only entered into with full knowledge of their extent and dynamics, and only when the requirements in terms of systems and staff resources are met. The risk policy aims to limit the negative impact of risks on earnings and protect the Raiffeisen Group against high exceptional losses while safeguarding and strengthening its good reputation. Raiffeisen Switzerland’s risk management is organised using the three-lines-of-defence model: risks are managed by the responsible risk-managing business units (first line). Risk & Compliance department ensures that the risk policy is observed and enforced and that regulatory provisions are adhered to (second line). Internal Auditing ensures the independent review of the risk management framework (third line).
The Raiffeisen Group limits and monitors the main risk categories via risk guidelines. Appropriate limits are used for quantifiable risks. Risks that are difficult to quantify are limited by qualitative stipulations.
Risk & Compliance is responsible for the independent monitoring of risk. This primarily involves monitoring compliance with the limits stipulated by the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. The Risk & Compliance department also evaluates the risk situation on a regular basis as part of the reporting process.
Monitoring of the subsidiaries is adjusted to the corresponding risk profiles. These are periodically reviewed. Raiffeisen Switzerland monitors the minimum risk management requirements. There is a periodic exchange with the risk control owner.
Raiffeisen conducts various regular stress tests to analyse the effects of adverse scenarios on the resilience of the bank. This involves examining the influence of important target values, such as profit, capital requirements or liquidity. The stress test analyses are carried out at the overall bank level or the level of certain sub-portfolios or risk categories. Moreover, as a systemically relevant bank, Raiffeisen carries out reverse stress tests as part of its stabilisation and emergency planning.
Conducting stress tests is an integral part of risk monitoring at Raiffeisen. The Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland determines the risk tolerance on the basis of the stress test at Group level.
Risk management process
The risk management process is valid for all risk categories, namely for credit, market, liquidity and operational risks. It incorporates the following elements:
- Risk identification
- Risk measurement and assessment
- Risk management
- Risk limitation, through the setting of appropriate limits
Raiffeisen Group’s risk management systems aim to:
- ensure that effective controls are in place at all levels and to guarantee that any risks entered into are in line with accepted levels of risk tolerance;
- create the conditions for entering into and systematically managing risks in a deliberate, targeted and controlled manner;
- make the best possible use of risk appetite, i.e. ensure that risks are only entered into if they offer suitable return potential.
The business units of the Raiffeisen banks and Raiffeisen Switzerland manage their credit risk autonomously, although still in accordance with Group-wide standards.
Credit risks are defined in the risk policy as the risk of losses caused by clients or other counterparties failing to fulfil or render contractual payments as anticipated. Credit risks are inherent in loans, irrevocable credit commitments, contingent liabilities and trading products such as OTC derivative contracts. Risks also accrue from taking on long-term equity exposures that may involve losses when the issuer defaults.
The Raiffeisen Group identifies, assesses, manages and monitors the following risks in its lending activities:
- Counterparty risk
- Collateral risk
- Concentration risk
- Country risk
Counterparty risks accrue from the potential default of a debtor or counterparty. A debtor or counterparty is considered to be in default when receivables are overdue or at risk.
Collateral risks accrue from impairments in the value of collateral.
Concentration risks in credit portfolios arise from the uneven distribution of credit receivables from individual borrowers, sectors, regions, rating classes and collateral.
Country risk is the risk of losses caused by country-specific events.
Retail banking in Switzerland is the Raiffeisen Group’s core business. The main component of this business is financing for loans secured by security interests in land.
Raiffeisen banks are chiefly exposed to counterparty, collateral and concentration risks. The majority of these risks result from loans granted to private or corporate clients.Corporate clients are mainly small and medium- sized companies that operate within the business areas of Raiffeisen banks. Credit risks are limited primarily by securing the underlying claims. This notwithstanding, creditworthiness and solvency are key prerequisites for the granting of loans. Raiffeisen banks are limited in the acceptance of credit risks arising from uncovered transactions for Corporate Clients; uncovered loans to private clients are generally not possible and require the approval of Raiffeisen Switzerland.Uncovered loans to Corporate Clients over a defined amount must be approved and hedged by Raiffeisen Switzerland.
Like the Raiffeisen banks, the Raiffeisen Switzerland branches primarily incur counterparty, collateral and concentration risks. The branches of Raiffeisen Switzerland extend credit to private and corporate clients.
In general, the Corporate Clients & Branches department of Raiffeisen Switzerland is the instance that grants larger loans to Corporate Clients. Concentration risks as part of the credit process are reviewed and acknowledged.
The Group-wide responsibilities of the Treasury & Markets department of Raiffeisen Switzerland involve managing both domestic and international counterparty risks.These risks occur in transactions such as wholesale funding in the money and capital markets, as well as the hedging of currency, fluctuating interest rate and proprietary trading risks. International transactions may only be conducted when country-specific limits have been approved and established.
Pursuant to the Articles of Association, Raiffeisen Switzerland’s commitments abroad may not exceed 5% of the consolidated Raiffeisen Group balance sheet total on a risk-weighted basis.
Internal and external ratings are used as a basis for approving and monitoring business with other commercial banks. Off-balance-sheet transactions, such as derivative financial instruments, are converted to their respective credit equivalent. In the case of derivative financial instruments, the standard approach for the credit equivalents of SA-CCR derivatives is applied. Raiffeisen Switzerland has concluded a framework agreement for OTC derivative transactions (Swiss framework agreement or ISDA) with the counterparties of Treasury & Markets with whom OTC derivative transactions are concluded and, depending on the counterparty, a collateral appendix for variation margin payments. Credit support is exchanged by transferring the margin requirement, which is calculated daily. These OTC exposures are monitored taking into account the collateral exchanged.
Raiffeisen Switzerland invests in other companies as part of strategic cooperation partnerships. Details are provided in note 7 of the information on the balance sheet.
Creditworthiness and solvency are assessed on the basis of compulsory Group-wide standards. Sufficient creditworthiness and the ability to maintain payments must be proven before any loan is approved. Loans to private individuals, legal entities and investment property financing are classified according to internally developed rating models and subject to risk monitoring based on the resulting classification. Clients’ creditworthiness is defined based on eleven risk categories and two default categories.
This system has proven its worth as a means of dealing with the essential elements of credit risk management, i.e. risk-adjusted pricing, portfolio management, identification and provisions. Specialist teams at Raiffeisen Switzerland are available to provide assistance for more complex financing arrangements and the management of recovery positions.
Comprehensive internal sets of rules exist for valuing collateral for loans, especially for determining the market value and loan-to-value ratios, which prescribe the corresponding methods, procedure and competences. The sets of rules are constantly reviewed and adjusted to regulatory requirements and market changes. The bank employs recognised estimation methods, adjusted to the type of property, to value property loans secured by security interests in land. Among others, hedonic models, the gross rental method and expert estimates are used. Both the models used as well as individual valuations are regularly reviewed. The maximum lending amount for any property loan secured by security interests in land varies depending on the realisability of the collateral and is affected by the type of use.
Raiffeisen analyses loan positions for default risk at regular intervals and/or in response to certain events and recognises value adjustments and/or loan loss provisions as needed. The bank considers loans to be impaired when it becomes unlikely that debtors will be able to meet their future obligations or the intrinsic value of the loan no longer exists, but at the very latest when the contractual principal, interest or commission payments are more than 90 days overdue. Provisions are recognised for the full amount of the interest and commission payments.
Raiffeisen Switzerland monitors, controls and manages risk concentrations within the Group, especially for groups of affiliated counterparties and for sectors. The process of identifying and consolidating affiliated counterparties is largely automated across the entire Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen Switzerland monitors the credit portfolio on a Group-wide basis and evaluates the portfolio structure. A periodic credit portfolio report provides responsible decision-makers with information on the economic environment, the structure of the credit portfolio, the risk situation and developments during the period under review.
Monitoring the portfolio structure involves analysing the distribution of the portfolio according to a range of structural characteristics, including, without limitation, category of borrower, type of loan, size of loan, rating, sector, collateral, geographical features and value adjustments.The Executive Board and the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland receive a quarterly risk report detailing the risk situation, risk exposure, limit utilisation and changes in exception-to-policy loans. In addition to standard credit portfolio reporting, the Risk Control department of Raiffeisen Switzerland also conducts ad hoc risk analyses where required. Monitoring and reporting form the basis for portfolio controlling measures,with the main focus being on controlling new business via lending policy.
Cluster risks are monitored centrally by the Risk & Compliance department of Raiffeisen Switzerland. As at 31 December 2020, the Raiffeisen Group had two reportable cluster risk with cumulative total exposures (after risk mitigation and risk weighting) of CHF 38.5 billion. This relates to the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Confederation, which are exempt from the requirement to comply with the statutory limit.
For the regulatory reporting of the 20 biggest overall exposures of the Raiffeisen Group, due to the prescribed threshold (2% of the capital valuation basis), two counterparties with a cumulative exposure (after risk mitigation and risk weighting) of CHF 1.2 billion were reportable.
Risk associated with fluctuating interest rates: Since interest rates for assets and liabilities are locked in for different periods, fluctuations in market interest rates can have a considerable impact on the Raiffeisen Group’s profit and loss. Value at risk is calculated along with interest rate sensitivity in various interest rate shock scenarios in order to assess the assumed interest rate risk to the net present value of the equity capital. The impact on profitability is assessed using dynamic income simulations. To measure mark-to-market risk, a gap analysis is performed using all balance-sheet and off-balance-sheet items along with their contractually fixed maturities. Loans and deposits with non-fixed maturities and capital commitment periods are modelled on the basis of historical data and forward-looking scenarios. These models are backtested at least once a year and undergo regular independent validation. No specific assumptions are made for premature loan repayments because early repayment penalties are generally charged.
Risk associated with fluctuating interest rates is managed on a decentralised basis in the responsible business units. The responsible members of staff are required to adhere strictly to the limits set by the Board of Directors and the Executive Board.Interest rate risks are hedged using established instruments. Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Treasury & Markets department is the binding counterparty concerning wholesale funding and hedging transactions for the entire Group. The Risk & Compliance department monitors compliance with interest risk limits and prepares the associated quarterly reports, while also assessing the Raiffeisen Group’s risk situation. Monitoring and reporting is conducted more frequently for individual units.
Other market risk: Since assets in a foreign currency are generally refinanced in the same currency, foreign currency risks are largely avoided by the Raiffeisen banks.
The financial investment portfolio is managed by the Treasury & Markets department of Raiffeisen Switzerland. Financial investments are part of the cash reserves of the Raiffeisen Group and are largely high-grade fixed-income securities that meet statutory liquidity requirements for high-quality liquid assets (HQLA). The Risk & Compliance department of Raiffeisen Switzerland monitors the interest rate and foreign currency risks of financial investments.
The Treasury & Markets department is responsible for managing Raiffeisen Switzerland’s trading book. Neither the Raiffeisen banks nor the branches of Raiffeisen Switzerland keep trading books. Trading activities include interest rates, currencies, equities and banknotes/ precious metals. It must strictly adhere to the value-at-risk, scenario, position and loss limits set by the Board of Directors and the Executive Board, which the Risk & Compliance department monitors on a daily basis. In addition, the Risk & Compliance department conducts daily plausibility checks of the valuation parameters used to produce profit and loss figures for trading.
Reporting on compliance with value-at-risk, scenario, position and loss limits and the assessment of the risk situation by the Risk & Compliance department is primarily conducted via the following reports:
- Daily trading limit report to the responsible Executive Board members of Raiffeisen Switzerland
- Weekly market and liquidity risk report for Raiffeisen Switzerland, presented to responsible Executive Board members of Raiffeisen Switzerland
- Monthly risk report to the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland
- Quarterly risk report to the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland
The Risk & Compliance department communicates breaches of market risk limits set by the Board of Directors and Executive Board on an ad hoc basis within the scope of the respective risk reports.
Liquidity risks are managed centrally for the Raiffeisen Group by the Treasury (Treasury & Markets department) of Raiffeisen Switzerland in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and commercial criteria and are monitored by the Risk & Compliance department of Raiffeisen Switzerland. Risk management involves, among other things, simulating liquidity inflows and outflows over different time horizons using Group-wide scenarios. These scenarios include the impact of liquidity shocks that are specific to Raiffeisen or affect the market as a whole.
Monitoring is based on statutory minimum requirements and the limits and internal stress scenarios stipulated by the Board of Directors.
At Raiffeisen, operational risks mean the danger of losses arising as a result of the unsuitability or failure of internal procedures, people or systems, or as a result of external events. They also include risks relating to cyber-attacks and information security in general. This includes not only the financial impacts, but also the reputational and compliance consequences.
Operational risk tolerance is defined at Group level using value-at-risk limits or stop-loss limits and frequencies of occurrence. Risk tolerance is approved annually by the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland. Group Risk Controlling monitors compliance with risk tolerance. If one of the defined limits or a threshold is exceeded, suitable action is defined and taken.
Each functional department within the Raiffeisen Group is responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring operational risk arising from its own activities. The Risk & Compliance department is responsible for maintaining the group-wide inventory of operational risks and for analysing and evaluating operational risk data. Risk identification is supported by capturing and analysing operational events. Risk & Compliance is also in charge of the concepts, methods and instruments used to manage operational risks, and it monitors the risk situation. In specific risk assessments, operational risks are identified, categorised by cause and impact, and evaluated according to the probability of occurrence and the extent of losses. The risk register is updated dynamically. Risk reduction measures are defined and their implementation is monitored by the line units. Emergency and catastrophe planning measures for mission-critical processes are in place.
The results of the risk assessments, key risk indicators (KRIs), significant internal operational risk events and relevant external events are reported quarterly to both Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Executive Board and Board of Directors. Value-at-risk limit violations are escalated to the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland.
In addition to the standard risk management process, Risk & Compliance conducts ad hoc risk analyses where required, analyses any loss events that arise and maintains close links with other organisational units that, as a result of their function, come into contact with information on operational risks within the Raiffeisen Group.
The Raiffeisen banks analyse their operational risk situation through assessments at least once a year. These analyses are approved by the Board of Directors of each bank and forwarded to Risk & Compliance.
Department Risk & Compliance reports the substantial compliance risks quarterly and the legal risks semi-annually to Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Executive Board and Board of Directors. These risks, together with an updated compliance risk profile and the plan of action on risk derived from it in accordance with FINMA Circular 2017/1, are submitted to the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland once a year.
According to a FINMA ruling, the Raiffeisen banks are exempt from complying with the rules regarding capital adequacy, risk diversification and liquidity on an individual basis. The relevant legal provisions must be complied with on a consolidated basis.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) classified the Raiffeisen Group as systemically important for the purposes of the Swiss Banking Act in a ruling issued on 16 June 2014.
The Raiffeisen Group has opted for the following approaches for calculating capital adequacy requirements:
The Raiffeisen Group has been using the internal ratings based model approach (Foundation IRB approach, “F-IRB”) to calculate its capital requirements for credit risks. In the case of positions for which a model-based approach is not possible, the calculation of the required capital for credit risks continues to be carried out according to the standardised approach (SA-BIS). External issuer/issue ratings from three FINMA-recognised rating agencies are used for central governments and central banks, public-sector entities, banks and security dealers, as well as companies. Issuer/issue ratings from an export insurance agency are also used for central governments; however, rating agency ratings take precedence over ratings issued by the export insurance agency. No changes were made to the rating agencies or export insurance agencies used in the current year.
Positions for which external ratings are used are found chiefly under the following balance sheet items:
- Amounts due from banks
- Amounts due from customer
- Financial investments
- Positive replacement value
FINMA gave Raiffeisen permission to use the F-IRB approach to calculate its capital requirements for credit risks as of 30 September 2019. As it often happens with these kinds of roll-outs, the changeover has to meet certain transitional floor requirements. Essentially, the risk-weighted assets calculated using the IRB model approach must not fall below a specified floor (calculated relative to the standardised approach, or SA-BIS). The floor is 95% in the first year, 90% in the second and 85% in the third. After that, the IRB floor determined by national laws and regulations is applied.
The capital adequacy requirements for market risk are calculated using the standard approach under supervisory law. Within this framework, the duration method is applied for general market risk with regard to interest rate instruments, and the delta-plus approach is used for capital adequacy requirements for options.
Raiffeisen uses the basic indicator approach to calculate capital adequacy requirements for operational risks.
Methods applied to identify default risks and to establish the required value adjustment
The property value of single-family homes, two-family homes, three-family homes, flats and holiday homes is determined using either the real value method or a hedonic pricing method. In the latter valuation method, Raiffeisen uses regional property price information supplied by an external provider. The bank uses these valuations to update the property value periodically or on an ad hoc basis.
If a property qualifies as an investment property (three-family homes, multi-family units, public-private properties used predominantly for residential purposes, public-private properties used predominantly for commercial purposes, fully commercial properties, large commercial/industrial properties, special-purpose properties with third-party usage > 50%), the value of the property is calculated based on the income capitalisation method, which is based on long-term cash flows from the properties. This model also takes into account market data, location information and vacancy rates.
The income capitalisation method is also used for properties with rental income, if they cannot be calculated using the actual value or the hedonic regression model.
Rental income from real estate used by third parties is reviewed periodically as well as on an ad hoc basis, particularly when there are indications of significant changes in rental income or vacancies.
Loans against securities
The bank monitors the commitments and value of the pledged securities on a daily basis.If the collateral value of the pledged securities falls below the loan commitment amount, the bank will consider reducing the loan amount or request additional collateral.If the shortfall widens or if market conditions are unusual, the collateral will be realised and the loan settled.
Unsecured loans are generally business loans to corporate clients or unsecured account overdrafts of private clients of a maximum of one month’s income. For corporate clients, the volume of unsecured loans is limited by corresponding requirements and limits.
For unsecured commercial operating loans, the bank asks the client to provide information that can be used to assess the state of the company’s finances. This information is requested annually or more frequently if necessary. This information is evaluated and any increased risks are identified. If the risks are higher, the bank will conduct a detailed assessment and work with the client to define appropriate measures. If the loan commitment is determined to be at risk in this phase, a value adjustment will be recognised.
Steps involved in determining value adjustments and provisions
The steps described in the “Mortgage loans”, “Loans against securities” and “Unsecured loans” sections are used to identify the need to recognise a value adjustment and/or provision. Furthermore, positions previously identified as being at risk are re-assessed quarterly. The value adjustment is updated if needed.
Value of collateral
Every mortgage loan is preceded by a recent valuation of the underlying collateral. The valuation method varies depending on property type and use. The bank values single-family homes, two-family homes, three-family homes, flats and holiday homes using the real value method as well as a hedonic pricing model. The hedonic regression model compares the price of property transactions that have similar characteristics to the real estate being valued.
For investment properties (three-family homes, multi-family units, public-private properties used predominantly for residential purposes, public-private properties used predominantly for commercial purposes, fully commercial properties, large commercial/industrial properties, special-purpose properties with third-party usage > 50%), the value of the property is calculated based on the income capitalisation method, which is based on long-term cash flows from the properties.
This is also used for properties with rental income, if they cannot be calculated using the actual value or the hedonic regression model.
In addition, Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Appraisal unit or external accredited assessors must be involved if the real estate’s lending basis exceeds a certain amount or if the real estate has special risks. The liquidation value is also calculated in the event of impaired loans/receivables.
The bank bases its loan on the lower of an internal or external valuation and the purchase price or capital expenditure (if incurred no more than 24 months previously).
Loans against securities
The bank primarily accepts transferable, liquid and actively traded financial instruments (such as bonds and equities) as collateral for Lombard loans and other loans against securities. The bank also accepts transferable structured products for which there is regular share price information and a market maker.
The bank discounts market values to account for the market risk associated with marketable securities and to determine the collateral value. The settlement period for structured products and long-tenor products may be considerably longer, and so they are discounted more heavily than liquid instruments. Discounts on life insurance policies or guarantees are dictated by the product.
Business policy on the use of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting
Business policy on the use of derivative financial instruments
Derivative financial instruments are used for trading and hedging purposes.
Derivative financial instruments are only traded by specially authenticated traders. The bank does not make markets. It trades standardised and OTC instruments for its own and clients’ accounts, particularly interest and currency instruments, equity/index securities and commodities.
Hedges in the banking book at Raiffeisen Switzerland are created by means of internal deposits and loans with the trading book; the Treasury and Products & Sales T&M departments do not take out hedges directly in the market. Hedges in the trading book are usually executed through offsetting trades with external counterparties.
The Raiffeisen banks trade or hedge derivative financial instruments as a commission agent solely to meet clients’ needs.
Use of hedge accounting
The Raiffeisen banks do not use hedge accounting in the meaning of the financial reporting regulations.
Types of hedged items and hedging instruments
The bank uses hedge accounting predominantly for the following types of transactions:
|Underlying transaction||Hedged using|
|Risks associated with fluctuating interest rates from interest rate sensitive receivables and liabilities in the banking book||Interest rate and currency swap|
|Price risk of foreign currency positions||Currency future contracts|
Composition of the groups of financial instruments
Interest rate sensitive positions in the banking book are grouped into various time bands by currency and
hedged accordingly using macro hedges. Macro hedges are risk-minimising hedging transactions across
the entire portfolio.The bank also uses micro hedges.
Economic connection between hedged items and hedging instruments
At the inception of a hedge relationship between a financial instrument and an item, Raiffeisen Switzerland documents the relationship between the hedging instrument and the hedged item. The documentation covers things such as the risk management goals and strategy for the hedging instrument and the methods used to assess the effectiveness of the hedge. Effectiveness testing constantly and prospectively assesses the economic relationship between the hedged item and the hedging instrument by actions such as measuring offsetting changes in the value of the hedged item and the hedging instrument and determining the correlation between these changes.
A hedge is deemed to be highly effective if the following criteria are substantially met:
- The hedge is determined to be highly effective both at inception and on an ongoing basis (micro hedges).
- There is a close economic connection between the hedged item and the hedging instrument.
- The changes in the value of the hedged item offset changes in the value of the hedging instrument with respect to the hedged risk.
When entered into, hedging transactions are effective over the entire term. If a hedge no longer meets the effectiveness criteria over time, it is treated as a trading portfolio asset and any gain or loss from the ineffective part is recognised in the income statement.
Consolidation, accounting and valuation principles
Accounting, valuation and reporting conform to the requirements of the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Swiss Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks (plus the related ordinance) and the FINMA Accounting Ordinance (FINMA AO) as well as FINMA Circular 2020/1 Accounting – Banks.The detailed positions shown for a balance sheet item are valued individually. The consolidated annual financial statements represent a true and fair view of the Raiffeisen Group’s assets, finances and earnings.
The consolidation of the banking institutions that make up the Raiffeisen Group, Raiffeisen Switzerland and the Group companies associated with it differs fundamentally from normal consolidation based on a holding company structure. The individual Raiffeisen banks, as owners of Raiffeisen Switzerland, function as parent companies. Raiffeisen Switzerland is legally a subsidiary even though it acts as the central coordinator, liquidity pool and safety net. The management and regulatory powers of Raiffeisen Switzerland are governed by its Articles of Association and the regulations based on the latter. Consolidation is not based on Raiffeisen Switzerland as a parent company, but represents an aggregation of the annual financial statements of the Raiffeisen banks and the participations held in the Raiffeisen Group. The equity capital in the consolidated annual financial statements is thus the total of the cooperative capital of the individual Raiffeisen banks.
Scope of consolidation and consolidation method
The consolidated accounts of the Raiffeisen Group comprise the annual financial statements of the individual Raiffeisen banks, Raiffeisen Switzerland and major Group companies in which the Group directly or indirectly holds more than 50% of the voting shares. The fully consolidated Group companies and the shareholdings valued according to the equity method are listed in the note “Companies in which the bank holds a permanent direct or indirect significant participation”. Minor participations are not listed individually if the Group holds less than 10% of the voting shares and equity capital or its holding is either worth less than CHF 2 million of the equity capital or the book value is less than CHF 15 million.
Under the full consolidation method, the assets and liabilities, off-balance-sheet transactions, and income and expenses are all recorded in full. Capital is consolidated according to the purchase method. All material amounts receivable and payable, off-balance-sheet transactions, and income and expenses between consolidated companies are offset. Any material intercompany profits that are generated are eliminated in the consolidation.
Minority interests of between 20% and 50% are consolidated according to the equity method.Participations of less than 20%, those with little materiality in terms of capital or income, and those of a non-strategic nature are not consolidated but are instead accounted for at acquisition cost less any operationally required value adjustments.
The closing date for the annual financial statements of all consolidated companies is 31 December.
Accounting and valuation principles
Recording of business events
All business transactions that have been concluded by the balance sheet date are recorded on a same-day basis in the balance sheet and the income statement in accordance with the relevant valuation principles. Spot transactions that have been concluded but not yet settled are posted to the balance sheet on the trade date.
Assets, liabilities and cash positions in foreign currencies are converted at the exchange rate prevailing on the balance sheet date. Exchange rate gains and losses arising from this valuation are reported under the “Result from trading activities and the fair value option” item. Foreign currency transactions during the course of the year are converted at the rate prevailing at the time the transaction was carried out.
If the annual financial statements of Group companies are denominated in foreign currencies, the balance sheet and off-balance sheet are converted at the rates prevailing on the balance sheet date, while the income statement is converted at the average rate for the year. The conversion difference is recognised directly in equity capital as a currency translation difference with no impact on profit and loss.
Liquid assets, borrowed funds
These are reported at nominal value. Precious metal liabilities on metal accounts are valued at fair value if the relevant metal is traded on a price-efficient and liquid market.
Discounts and premiums on the Group’s own bond issues and central mortgage institution loans are accrued over the period to maturity.
Amounts due from banks and customers, mortgage loans, value adjustment
These are reported at nominal value less any value adjustment required. Precious metal assets on metal accounts are valued at fair value if the relevant metal is traded on a price-efficient and liquid market. Interest income is reported on an accruals basis.
Receivables are deemed to be impaired where the bank believes it improbable that the borrower will be able to completely fulfil his/her contractual obligations. Impaired loans – and any collateral that may exist – are valued on the basis of the liquidation value.
All leased objects are reported in the balance sheet as “Amounts due from customers” in line with the present-value method.
Impaired loans are subject to provisions based on regular analyses of individual loan commitments, while taking into account the creditworthiness of the borrower, the counterparty risk and the estimated net realisable sale value of the collateral. If recovery of the amount receivable depends solely on the collateral being realised, full provision is made for the unsecured portion.
Value adjustments are not recognised for latent risks until 31 December 2020.
If a loan is impaired, it may be possible to maintain an available credit limit as part of a continuation strategy. If necessary, provisions for off-balance-sheet transactions are recognised for these kinds of unused credit limits. For current account overdrafts, which typically show considerable, frequent volatility over time, initial and subsequent provisions are recognised for the total amount (i.e. value adjustments for effective drawdowns and provisions for available limits) under “Changes in value adjustments for default risks and losses from interest operations”. If drawdowns change, a corresponding amount is transferred between value adjustments and provisions in equity. Reversals of value adjustments or provisions are also recognised under “Changes in value adjustments for default risks and losses from interest operations”.
Interest and related commissions that have been due for more than 90 days, but have not been paid, are deemed to be non-performing. In the case of current account overdrafts, interest and commissions are deemed to be non-performing if the specified overdraft limit is exceeded for more than 90 days. Non-performing and impaired interest (including accrued interest) and commissions are no longer recognised as income but reported directly under value adjustments for default risks.
A receivable is written off at the latest when completion of the realisation process has been confirmed by legal title.
However, impaired loans are written back up in full, i.e. the value adjustment is reversed, if payments of outstanding principal and interest are resumed on schedule in accordance with contractual provisions and additional creditworthiness criteria are fulfilled.
Individual value adjustments for credit items are calculated per item on a prudential basis and deducted from the appropriate receivable.
Securities lending and borrowing
Securities lending and borrowing transactions are reported at the value of the cash collateral received or issued, including accrued interest. Securities which are borrowed or received as collateral are only reported in the balance sheet if the Raiffeisen Group takes control of the rights associated with them. Securities which are loaned or are provided as collateral are only removed from the balance sheet if the Raiffeisen Group forfeits the rights associated with them. The market values of the borrowed and loaned out securities are monitored daily, to enable any additional collateral to be provided or requested as necessary. Fees received or paid under securities lending and repurchase transactions are booked to commission income or commission expenditure on an accruals basis.
Repurchase and reverse repurchase transactions
Securities purchased with an agreement to resell (reverse repurchase transactions) and securities sold with an agreement to buy back (repurchase transactions) are regarded as secured financing transactions and are recorded at the value of the cash collateral received or provided, including accrued interest.
Securities received and delivered are only recorded in/removed from the balance sheet if control of the rights, which these securities include, is acquired or transferred. The market values of the received or delivered securities are monitored daily so that any additional collateral can be provided or requested as necessary.
Interest income from reverse repurchase transactions and interest expense from repurchase transactions are accrued over the term of the underlying transaction.
Trading portfolio assets and trading portfolio liabilities
The trading portfolio assets and trading portfolio liabilities are valued and recognised at fair value. Positions for which there is no representative market are valued according to the lower of cost or market value principle. Both the gains and losses arising from this valuation and the gains and losses realised during the period in question are reported under “Result from trading activities and the fair value option”. This also applies to interest and dividend income on trading positions. The funding costs for holding trading positions are charged to trading profits and credited to interest income. Income from firm commitments to securities issues are also reported under trading profits.
Positive and negative replacement values of derivative financial instruments
The replacement values of all contracts concluded on the bank’s own account are recognised in the balance sheet regardless of their income statement treatment. The replacement values of exchange-traded contracts concluded on a commission basis are reported only to the extent that they are not covered by margin deposits. The replacement values of over-the-counter contracts concluded on a commission basis are always reported.
All hedging transactions of the Treasury and Products & Sales T&M departments of Raiffeisen Switzerland are concluded via the trading book; the Treasury and Products & Sales T&M departments do not participate in the market themselves. Only the replacement values of contracts with external counterparties are reported. The “Open derivative financial instruments” note shows the replacement values and contract volume with external counterparties. The volume and replacement values of internal hedging transactions of the Treasury and Products & Sales T&M departments are reported under “Hedging instruments”.
In the case of structured products issued by Raiffeisen Switzerland that include a debt security, the derivative is split from the underlying contract and valued separately. The debt securities (underlying contracts) are reported at nominal value under “Bond issues and central mortgage institution loans”. Discounts and premiums are reported in the item “Accrued expenses and deferred income” or, as the case may be, “Accrued income and prepaid expenses” and realised against the interest income over the remaining life. Issued structured products that do not include a debt security and the derivative portions of the structured products that include a debt security are recognised at fair value under “Positive replacement values of derivative financial instruments” and “Negative replacement values of derivative financial instruments”.
The structured products issued by Raiffeisen Switzerland B.V.Amsterdam are valued at fair value.These products are carried at market value under “Liabilities from other financial instruments at fair value”.
Treatment in the income statement
The derivative financial instruments recorded in the trading book are valued on a fair-value basis.
Derivative financial instruments used to hedge risk associated with fluctuating interest rates as part of balance sheet “structural management” are valued in accordance with the accrual method. Interest-related gains and losses arising from the early realisation of contracts are accrued over their remaining lives.
The net income from self-issued structured products and the net income from the commission-based issue of structured products by other issuers are booked under “Commission income from securities trading and investment activity”.
Fixed-income debt instruments and warrant bonds are valued according to the lower of cost or market value principle if there is no intention to hold them to maturity. Debt securities acquired with the intention of holding them to maturity are valued according to the accrual method with the discount or premium accrued over the remaining life. Equity securities are valued according to the lower of cost or market value principle. Real estate and equity securities acquired through lending activities and other real estate and equities intended for disposal are reported under “Financial investments” and valued at the lower of cost or market value. The “lower of cost or market value” principle refers to the lower of the acquisition cost or the liquidation value. Precious metals held to cover liabilities from precious metals accounts are carried at market value as at the balance sheet date. In cases where fair value cannot be determined, they are valued according to the lower of cost or market value principle.
Non-consolidated participations include minority holdings of between 20% and 50% which are valued according to the equity method.
This balance sheet item also includes holdings of less than 20% and all holdings of an infrastructural nature. These are valued in accordance with the principle of initial value, i.e. initial value less operationally required value adjustments. They are tested for impairment as of each balance sheet date.
Tangible fixed assets
Tangible fixed assets are reported at their purchase cost plus value-enhancing investments and depreciated on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful life, as follows:
|Estimated useful life of tangible fixed assets||years|
|Real estate||66 years|
|Alterations and fixtures in rented premises||full rental term, maximum 15 years|
|Furniture and fixtures||8 years|
|Other tangible fixed assets||5 years|
|Internally developed or purchased core banking software||10 years|
|IT systems and remaining software||3 years|
Immaterial investments are booked directly to operating expenses. Large-scale, value-enhancing renovations are capitalised, while repairs and maintenance are booked directly to the income statement. Expenditure incurred in connection with the implementation and continued development of the new core banking systems is recognised as an asset through “Other ordinary income”. Real estate, buildings under construction and core banking systems are not depreciated until they come into use. Undeveloped building land is not depreciated.
The value of tangible fixed assets is reviewed as at every balance sheet date whenever events or circumstances give reason to suspect that the book value is impaired. Any impairment is recognised in profit or loss under “Value adjustments on participations and depreciation and amortisation of tangible fixed assets and intangible assets”. If the useful life of a tangible fixed asset changes as a result of the review, the residual book value is depreciated over the new duration.
Goodwill: If the cost of acquiring a company is higher than the value of the net assets acquired based on standard Group accounting guidelines, the difference is reported as goodwill. Goodwill is amortised on a straight-line basis over its estimated useful life. The amortisation period is usually five years. In justifiable cases, it may be as high as ten years. If goodwill was on the books as of 31 December 2014 and its useful life was originally estimated to be more than ten years, it is still amortised over its original estimated useful life.
Other intangible assets: Acquired intangible assets are recognised where they provide the Group with a measurable benefit over several years. Intangible assets created by the Group itself are not capitalised. Intangible assets are recognised at acquisition cost and amortised on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful life within a maximum of five years.
Impairment testing: The value of intangible assets is reviewed as of every balance sheet date whenever events or circumstances give reason to suspect that the book value is impaired. Any impairment is recognised in profit or loss under “Value adjustments on participations and depreciation and amortisation of tangible fixed assets and intangible assets”. If the useful life of an intangible asset changes as a result of the review, the residual book value is amortised over the new duration.
Provisions are recognised on a prudential basis for all risks identified at the balance sheet date that are based on a past event and will probably result in an obligation. In regards to provisions for available overdraft limits, we refer to the chapter “Amounts due from banks and clients, mortgage loans, value adjustments”.
Reserves for general banking risks
Reserves may be allocated for general banking risks. These are reserves created as a precautionary measure in accordance with accounting standards to hedge against latent risks in the business activities of the Raiffeisen Group.
Taxes are calculated and booked on the basis of the profit for the current year. Deferred tax of 16.4% (previous year: 17.5%) was calculated on untaxed reserves and reported as a provision for deferred taxes.
Contingent liabilities, irrevocable commitments, obligations to make payments and additional contributions
These are reported at their nominal value under “Off-balance-sheet transactions”. Provisions are created for foreseeable risks.
Changes as against previous year
No significant changes were made to the accounting and valuation principles in the reporting year. The FINMA AO entered into force on 1 January 2020. To recognise value adjustments on non-impaired loans/ receivables as well as the provisions for default risks of off-balance-sheet transactions as defined in Art. 25 and Art. 28 of the FINMA AO, the Raiffeisen Group applies the transitional provisions in line with Art. 98 of the FINMA AO. This means that these value adjustments and provisions are recognised in the 2021 financial year.
Events after the balance sheet date
No events with a measurable effect on the 2020 operating result occurred after the balance sheet date.