1989 - 1997

Globalization, socio-political changes and innovative technology spur the development of specialized banking services


Switzerland and the world


SBC opens a representative office in Beijing.

O'Connor forms a global strategic alliance with SBC (SBC/OC Services L.P.)

Germany the collapse of the Berlin Wall

The collapse of the Berlin Wall signals the end of the Cold War.

The collapse of the DDR


World Wide Web

Sir Timothy J. Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy J. Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy J. Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.

German reunification

East and West Germany are reunified.

Yugoslav civil war

Yugoslavia breaks apart and plunges into civil war with major atrocities committed against civilian populations.


SBC acquires majority holding in Australian firm DBSM to make it SBC Dominguez Barry (which becomes SBC Australia in 1994).

The collapse of the Soviet Union

After a process of disintegration the Soviet Union collapses.


Union Bank Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd. is set up.

SBC/OC Services L.P. is fully integrated into SBC.

Conference on Environment and Development

UN Conference, Rio de Janeiro

The Rio Climate Conventions are showcased at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.


SBC becomes the first major Swiss bank to set up an internal Compliance organization.

The Maastricht Treaty

The Maastricht Treaty comes into force in November creating the European Union (EU) and leading to the creation of the single European currency, the euro.


Paine Webber acquires investment firm Kidder Peabody.

Union Bank launches as the first bank globally the "Kinebar" (bars of gold of different weight with kinegrams).

SBC launches KeyClub, the first such bonus program in Europe.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa marking the end of apartheid.

Swiss banks write-off some 50 billion CHF of investments following the Swiss mortgage crisis of the early 1990s.


SBC acquires S.G. Warburg Plc., in London, a leading European investment bank, and renames it 'SBC Warburg; a Division of Swiss Bank Corporation.

SBC Australia and Potter Warburg merge into SBC Warburg Australia.

As the millennium draws to a close, the Swiss banking industry undergoes three major transformations. First of all, it ceases to operate under a Swiss-based model and becomes a globalised industry. Secondly, as a result of the credit crisis, it begins to develop specialized financial services. Thirdly, it implements the Swiss Value Chain, the complete electronic integration of securities trading, clearing and settlement as well as payments.

MIR space station

Mission STS-71
Mission STS-71

The U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis docks into the Russian MIR space station for the first time.


SBC acquires Standard Chartered's international private banking business, positioning SBC's Private Banking business within the top two players in Asia based on assets under management.

Both SBC and Union Bank suffer losses, largely due to the need to make special provisions because of the Swiss mortgage crisis.

Switzerland and its banks are criticized at the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in New York and by U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato, for their presumed role during World War II.

Cloned mammal


Dolly, a female domestic sheep becomes the first mammal to be cloned.


SBC acquires Dillon, Read & Co

Warburg Dillon Read Center

SBC acquires Dillon, Read & Co., New York, an old established Investment Bank, integrates it into the SBC Warburg Division and renames the division SBC Warburg Dillon Read.

SBC employs 27,565 people, of which 10,169 are based abroad. The Union Bank employs 27,611, of which 8,256 are based abroad.

A financial crisis unfolds in Asia, initiated by two rounds of currency depreciation that had been occurring since early summer…

Switzerland's three major banks, the Swiss National Bank and some major industries establish a Humanitarian Fund for Victims of the Holocaust and endow it with 270 million CHF.

Hong Kong ceases to be a British Crown Colony

Hong Kong

Hong Kong ceases to be a British Crown Colony and becomes part of the People's Republic of China.