Peter York On Ads: In the land of money, your lover is a laptop

UBS

How wonderful to be Swiss. The Swiss, I once read, spent more on the state subsidy for just one of their three rail networks for their 7 million population than we did on the whole of our system. And it shows. If you count down the leaving time of a Swiss train on your Swiss watch you'll see it leaving to the second. Not just from the terminus but from every subsequent station.

And clean! You could eat your dinner off the floor of a Swiss train. They've started cleaning it before it's got there. Trains, and chronology, cantons and cowbells, Switzerland is the most glorious retirement home imaginable. Forget Bridport or Bideford - lovely as they are - if elegant bourgeois inactivity is what you want, you can't beat Switzerland.

Wander up into Zurich's better end residential bit - and it's not as if the rough end's exactly festering slums - and you start hyperventilating from the smell of money. The apartment blocks are piled-up blocks of High Net Worthness. The madam shops are full of stuff for Nancy Reagan and Betsy Bloomingdale types and there's no one on the street. They're all in silver German cars with drivers.

The Swiss are strange, no question. In Europe, yet not really of it. French and German, yet non-partisan and convenient for Italy (at what precise point does the lakeland start to feel Italian?) - good at pharmaceuticals, and packaged foods, not exactly an outgoing, seafaring nation.

But they've known mild sorrow. They've had drug problems in the big cities for 20 years. (It's extra shocking to see graffiti in Switzerland). And they're not sure how long it can all go on - the money, the independence and the all-round 1970s weirdness of it all. Switzerland is above all a banking place, a private banking place, a place for valetudinarian money, money that doesn't want to go anywhere too exotic on its own, money that would rather go Swan Hellenic. Think High Net Worth - the banking word for people from comfortable to loaded - in its twilight years and you've got Switzerland. Think lakeland villas bought with the returns from selling your family's German Mittelstand business, and you've got it.

UBS - Union Bank of Switzerland - is known for its profound Swissness, its lovely crossed-keys logo. The country's the brand. They're there to help if you're about to cash out, sell up and be portfolio- managed for the rest of your life (don't Roger Moore, Julie Andrews and Petula Clark all live in Switzerland?). The new UBS commercial makes the world look lovely and fantastically clean - Japanese monorail trains, bright glass wall-climber lifts going up in the dark, a huge Modernist atrium with an internal bridge. A Lutheran-looking church, a pier, a smart new poolside with Eames chairs in the foreground, a glamorous New York canyon and some red sunsets. It's utterly irresistible and, by current standards, terribly untricksy; no more than a little slomo. Everywhere they go in this gloriously safe and wonderfully under-populated tour d'horizon, there are people in pairs.

Just the two of us. At a certain point in life you absolutely know who your significant other is, the one you daydream about, write little notes to then tear them up. It's your Financial Adviser, of course. The sleek person - they're often women now, reassuring for all the widows and divorcees - who comes to the villa and tells you about the Special Situations, the New China Fund and whether you should buy more gold.

There are only two locations that matter to UBS, they're saying - it's everywhere and anytime. They're there for you. You're looking good after the work in the Geneva clinic, Dr Zwingli does a lovely job, so you're refreshed rather than wind-tunnel stretched, you've got the best dental implants money can buy and you're off to Barbados to show it all off soon - exchanging a warm poolside for your cool one. You need your darling dream visitor with his/her lovely laptop full of figures - they're about sectors and businesses and places you don't recognise - to make sure you can keep turning left on those re-branded Swiss planes for ever.

Peter@sru.co.uk

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SEO Executive

£24 - 28k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical SEO Executive to join one ...

Research Analyst / Insight Analyst

£25k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Research Analyst / Insight Analyst to joi...

RTB/ Programmatic Campaign Manager

35,000 - 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Our client is the world's largest...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence