21.12.2016

Switzerland: government to defend SNB monetary policy

400The government defended he Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) independence and rejected a number of proposals to reform Switzerland’s central bank.

"The SNB's monetary policy concept has proved its worth also in difficult situations such as in the wake of the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2009," the cabinet said in a statement after a meeting.

The abandonment of the CHF1.20 peg to the euro in January 2015 saw the franc appreciate further against the euro at the expense of exporters and the Swiss tourism industry. This sparked a raft of parliamentary proposals to force the SNB to change course.

Many Swiss complain about the impact of negative rates, which hurt banks and pension funds and make life hard for savers. But the cabinet said low rates were a global phenomenon and the SNB was keeping rates negative to reduce the appeal of franc-denominated assets.

"They are effective only if all financial market players are affected by them. Any exceptions would create a precedent which would diminish the effectiveness of monetary policy," it said.


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