SWITZERLAND - The Canton of Solothurn in the northwest of Switzerland has decided to keep its own Pensionskassen supervisor, thereby rejecting government recommendations to join forces with other cantons.

The Swiss government, as part of a major reform of the supervisory structure for pension funds, recently told cantons they could create regional supervisors covering more than one canton.

But Solothurn decided to got it alone after holding negotiations with neighbouring cantons Basel-Land and Basel-City.

Kurt Flüeli, head of the second-pillar supervisory authority in Solothurn (ABVS), told IPE:

"The canton Solothurn wants to continue to organise supervision on a cantonal level, but later co-operations with other cantons are not being ruled out."

Flüeli cited the "advantages of a cantonal solution", such as closeness to clients, familiarity with conditions in the canton and co-operation with other authorities in the canton.

He also said the ABVS was "covering all technical requirements in full" and that communication with other supervisory authorities was still guaranteed.

The central Swiss cantons of Luzern, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Zug and Uri already created one regional supervisory authority in 2006, anticipating a structural reform.

The northern Swiss region of Schaffhausen joined the supervisor in Zürich a year later, and at the beginning of 2008, St Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Inner- and Ausserrhoden, Graubünden and Glarus also started cooperating.

Cantons in western Switzerland have not decided on a possible co-operation yet.

The structural reform of the supervisory structure is to be completed by January 2012.