ISSN 2330-717X

Hildebrand stands by Switzerland’s euro policy


The president of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Philipp Hildebrand, has defended the bank’s interventions to buy euros to try to counter the rise of the Swiss franc.

Hildebrand told a Club of Rome Forum in Zurich on Thursday night that the interventions between March 2009 and June 2010 were necessary at the time to combat the risk of deflation.

He added that decisions about such measures were solely based on the central bank’s mandate to ensure price stability.

The SNB announced last week it had made a loss in 2009 of SFr26 billion ($27 billion) on its foreign currency positions.

“We have always emphasised that the SNB’s goal is not to make a profit… or even speculate,” Hildebrand said

In a related development the former chief economist of the SNB, Ulrich Kohli, described buying so many euros as a “fiasco”. He told the Friday edition of the Basler Zeitung newspaper that the expected loss of the bank for 2010 of SFr21 billion was of historic proportions and unnecessary.

“That interventions are generally of no use is really nothing new,” he said.

He said the SNB had lost some credibility as a result. “It is wounded, its balance sheet weakened and it hardly has a possibility to do anything [about it].”

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swissinfo is an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to inform Swiss living abroad about events in their homeland and to raise awareness of Switzerland in other countries. swissinfo achieves this through its nine-language internet news and information platform.

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