1935 - 1944

The dawning of a new era in Swiss banking unfolds, backed by political stability, neutrality, and a strong judicial system that guarantees bank client confidentiality

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

Switzerland and the world



"Monopoly" board game first marketed on a broad scale.

Introduction of the Swiss Federal Banking Law. Article 47 provides the legal basis for Swiss bank client confidentiality.


SBC's balance sheet has shrunk to 1 billion CHF, from 1.6 billion CHF in 1930.

Union Bank reduces its capital again from 80 million CHF to 40 million CHF. Its balance sheet total is now worth just 441 million CHF, less than half the size it had in 1929.

Swiss satirical magazine Nebelspalter

Devaluation of the Swiss Franc by 30 percent for the first and last time in history following the devaluation of the French Franc.

The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War begins. It is to last until 1939.

Foundation of stockbroking firm Ian Potter & Co. in Melbourne.


Three keys

SBC introduces its landmark brand design with the three keys symbolizing security, trust and discretion.

Logo development

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first animated feature in motion picture history, is released in the U.S.

Pablo Picasso's painting "Guernica"

Visitors view Pablo Picasso's world famous painting "Guernica"

Pablo Picasso paints 'Guernica', one of his most famous paintings, depicting the cruelty of the Spanish Civil War.

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge – the world's longest suspension bridge – is completed.


Union Bank establishes INTRAG, Zurich, company for the management of investment trusts (mutual funds). INTRAG, in turn, establishes the "America-Canada Trust Fund (AMCA)", the first Swiss investment trust with flexible funds of investment monies. After 1945, AMCA developed into the largest European investment trust for North American shares.

SBC co-establishes the first Swiss real estate fund (Swissimmobil Serie D).

Nazi Germany annexes Austria and occupies the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia

First ascent of the Eiger north face.

2002: The historical "first ascent" with old equipment and technic.


SBC opens an agency in New York.

New York in the late 1930s

The Einstein-Szilard letter on developing an atomic bomb using uranium is sent to President Roosevelt. This eventually leads to the creation of the Manhattan Project.

Outbreak of World War II

Outbreak of World War II. Switzerland maintains its armed neutrality as it had done in World War I and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. The Swiss army is mobilised, with up to 430,000 men under arms.


SBC London emergency premises

SBC London's wartime evacuation premises in Surrey

SBC in London establishes emergency premises outside the City and evacuates staff to the West Hall estate in Byfleet in the county of Surrey.


Richard "Dick" McDonald

Richard and Maurice McDonald open the first McDonald's restaurant.

McDonald's restaurant 1955


Pearl Harbor

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor leads to U.S. entry into World War II.


The merger of Jackson & Curtis and Paine, Webber & Co. creates Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis, a company, headquartered in Boston, with a combined net worth of USD 4.3 million, 23 offices and 30 partners.

Russian soldiers

Battle of Stalingrad: Red Army forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the counter-attacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the Soviet Union's favor.


Discussions at Bretton Woods

The Bretton Woods Conference sets up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the World Bank. Both commence operations in 1947.

John Maynard Keynes (left) and H.H. Kung (right)