Compliance and regulatory risk is a major issue for companies based in Switzerland.

Lorenzo Arias, head of international technology and financial services, Zurich Global Corporate Switzerland

As the country remains outside the EU, there are increasing concerns for businesses over sanctions and taxes. This is not only a problem for Swiss corporations dealing with countries inside the EU, but also for their global operations as other nations raise regulatory barriers.

The increasing number of natural catastrophes presents another significant concern. Events are becoming more unpredictable because they happen so fast and it is not always possible to work out where they will occur. As such, they are often unavoidable and their impact can be enormous in terms of physical and financial losses.

Another area of concern for companies in Switzerland is multiple tactical operational changes. There has been a lot of these since the start of the financial crisis. For example, a reduction in suppliers often means there are fewer stock warehouses and this leads to a concentration of risks. Also, firms are increasingly turning to low-cost countries for supplies - this often results in lower quality and higher credit risks.

Reputation is another serious risk for businesses in Switzerland, where quality is considered to be extremely important. These days it is easy for companies’ reputations to be damaged because of the speed of communication when there are problems. Cyber risk continues to be a concern, although it is difficult to tell the level of risk this represents at the moment.

Broadly, as companies try to streamline their processes they need to have alternative options for supply chains and other emergency alternatives in place, and a greater awareness of the risks they face in general. And, with those risks they must decide if they want to take them on or not - to create what is effectively a no surprise culture.

A company will be prepared to take some risks and not others, and this is where firms need to see if someone else - insurers - can deal with those risks on their behalf.