Bankruptcies in Switzerland skyrocket as pandemic support phased out

Bankruptcies in Switzerland skyrocket as pandemic support phased out

The latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) have revealed that the number of bankruptcies and debt enforcements in Switzerland increased by 9,1 percent in 2021, compared to the year before. Experts blame the rise on the phasing out of many financial incentives and tax relief programmes that international companies relied on to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Pandemic support kept most Swiss businesses afloat

In a statement, the FSO said that the number of bankruptcy proceedings “increased by 1.169, or 9,1 percent, to 14.081 a year.” The increase follows a drop in the previous year, which is likely related to the financial support given to companies forced to close or curtail operations due to the COVID pandemic, such as relief on business taxes and furlough payments.

The increase in bankruptcies was seen in most areas of Switzerland, with only three of the 26 cantons not recording an increase. The largest increases were seen in Canton Zurich and Aargau, which recorded 12,5 and 24,6 percent more bankruptcies respectively.

Geneva, Jura and Appenzell Innerrhoden were the only cantons that did not see a rise. Entrepreneurs in Switzerland also faced more debt collections and seizure enforcements in 2021.

Total liquidations cost 4,2 billion Swiss francs

The total financial loss from liquidation is estimated at around 4,2 billion Swiss francs. Like the year before, these losses were concentrated into a few larger cases, with the three largest liquidations costing 1,7 billion Swiss francs in total.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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