1898 - 1911

First office of a Swiss bank in the world’s most important capital city as Swiss industrial goods are exported globally

Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC)
Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)

Switzerland and the world



Inside the SBC London branch

The first steps towards international expansion by a Swiss bank: As "Swiss Bankverein" SBC opens a branch in London on 1 July. By the turn of the century the number of staff at the branch had grown from an original 16 to 120.

Telephone operator at SBC London branch

British gold mining in South Africa makes London the world's foremost trading center for gold.


SBC Paradeplatz, Zurich

SBC building on Paradeplatz, Zurich

SBC inaugurates its new 2 million CHF building at Zurich-Paradeplatz (vis-à-vis the Credit Suisse head office).

Entry hall of SBC Paradeplatz building
Paradeplatz, Zurich, with a view of the SBC building

David Hilbert creates the modern concept of geometry with the publication of his book Foundations of Geometry.

The first Peace Conference ends with the signing of the Hague Convention.


Office SBC in London, 1900

Swiss industrial production

Swiss industrial goods including textiles, industrial machinery, pocket watches and clocks, enjoy a surge in global exports. The Swiss financial services industry, however, is ranked 7th worldwide, behind London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Brussels and Amsterdam. No single Swiss bank ranks within the global top 50 banks.

Stock prices on the Basel Stock Exchange


SBC commences with the regular publication of economic analyses.

Assembly line (Ford factory)

Ransom E. Olds creates the assembly line.


Wright brothers

The first successful airplane is developed by the Wright brothers.


Washing machine

Old washing machine, 1924

Electric washing machines are advertised in newspapers for the first time.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), is founded in Paris.


Bank in Winterthur enters into a joint venture with Bank in Baden.

The firm Vermilye & Co., founded in 1832, is dissolved and re-built as William A. Read & Co., subsequently (in 1921) renamed Dillon, Read & Co.

Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Albert Einstein

SOS becomes the international distress signal.

Inventor Reginald Fessenden sends the first radio broadcasts of entertainment and music.


Acquisition of the Banque d'Espine and Fatio & Cie

Rue de la Corraterie, Geneva

Through the acquisition of the Banque d'Espine and Fatio & Cie, Genève, SBC establishes its first branch in Geneva.

Staff festivity, SBC in Geneva

Bank of Baden

Bahnhofstrasse 44, Zurich

The Bank in Winterthur acquires the Zurich branch of the Bank of Baden at Bahnhofstrasse 44, and becomes a licensed trader of the Zurich Stock Exchange.

Jackson & Curtis becomes a member of the NYSE.


Paine Webber & Co. buys a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Swiss Franc

50-Francs banknote of the Toggenburger Bank (1905)

The Swiss National Bank, the country's Central Bank is established by a 1905 Federal decree. Up until its founding, the issuing of Swiss francs was coordinated by dozens of commercial banks across the country. The "hard" gold-backed Swiss Franc is created.


SBC acquires Fratelli Pasquali

"Palazzo Pasquali", Chiasso

SBC acquires Fratelli Pasquali in Chiasso, its first branch within the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.


«The All Star» sports shoe (produced since 1917)

Converse, the American canvas shoe company, begins its operations.