Goldman Sachs Is Expanding Trading Activities in Switzerland

Commercial and residential properties stand on the city skyline in Zurich, Switzerland.

Photographer: Alessandro Della Bella/Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is expanding its trading activities in Switzerland, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The U.S. investment bank is upgrading its Swiss trading unit, housed under Goldman Sachs International, from a representative office into a branch, the person said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. The move is subject to approval from Finma, the Swiss financial regulator.

The change would allow Goldman Sachs to do a wider range of broker/dealer-type activities, and does not involve the New York-based bank expanding in the wealth management or advisory businesses, the person said.

Goldman’s expansion follows a period that saw many foreign banks reduce their commitments in Switzerland after the 2008 financial crisis, while banks’ trading and brokerage activities have come under pressure from shrinking fees. The U.S. bank in 2001 opened an office in Geneva which was later closed down. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

The bank began in Zurich in 1974 and its main business in Switzerland includes asset and wealth management as well as equities trading and M&A advisory.

— With assistance by Jan-Henrik Foerster

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