Each of the 220 Raiffeisen banks is a legally and organisationally independent cooperative with directly elected banking bodies. The members of the cooperative form part of the responsible body of each bank. Their share certificate also makes them co-owners.
Structure and governance
Raiffeisen Switzerland takes care of the strategic management of the entire Raiffeisen Group and creates the framework conditions for the business activities of the Raiffeisen banks, advising and supporting them in all matters. Raiffeisen Switzerland is responsible for risk management, liquidity and capital ratios, and refinancing for the entire Group while performing treasury, trading and transaction activities in the role of a central bank.
The exchange of ideas and opinions between the Raiffeisen banks and Raiffeisen Switzerland is essential for the entire Group. To continue supporting the collaboration, Raiffeisen established a new governance in 2019. An important part of this are the owners' committees: the Raiffeisen Bank Council, Expert Committee Coordination and the expert committees. These were set up in 2020 and have taken up their activities. The owner strategy brings together the interests, positions and expectations of the owners in relation to Raiffeisen Switzerland. Raiffeisen Switzerland is responsible for the strategic management of the Group, which is defined by the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland as part of the Group strategy.
Corporate governance principles
The Raiffeisen Group's most important corporate governance provisions are established in the Articles of Association, the organisational regulations, the Terms and Conditions of Business, and a series of other instructions and directives. All the statutes and documents relevant to the business (such as the Articles of Association, regulations, instructions, product catalogues, forms and descriptions of processes) are contained in an electronic system of rules. The binding nature of the regulations and the regulatory documentation obligations are clearly defined. New issues, processes, products and amendments to existing ones can be handled centrally and made available to provide extensive information directly to all staff thanks to the electronic system of rules.
The following report is largely based on the SIX Swiss Exchange Directive Corporate Governance (DCG). While the DCG is not generally binding for Raiffeisen, its application can be reasonable for unlisted companies like a cooperative as well. Matters not relevant for the Raiffeisen Group owing to its form of organisation are only mentioned in exceptional cases.
The corporate governance report deals in particular with the special cooperative organisational structure of the Raiffeisen Group. The various levels of decision-making authority and responsibility are also presented and explained. Except where stated otherwise, all data pertain to the reporting date of 31 December 2021.
Raiffeisen has strengthened governance in a focused manner with the owners' committees.