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National bank boss rules out interest rate rise

Swiss National Bank president Hans Meyer plays down fears of interest rate rise Keystone

The president of the Swiss National Bank, Hans Meyer, has played down fears of a new rise in interest rates in Switzerland.

In an interview with Zurich’s Tages Anzeiger newspaper, Meyer said he saw no economic reason to lead a more restrictive monetary policy.

“The economic situation in Switzerland is excellent… We have an adequate, durable growth with price stability and full employment,” he said.

He added that inflation this year would probably be higher than the 1.5 per cent forecast but would still be below the two per cent mark.

Asked about increasing pressure on Swiss banking secrecy, Meyer said that Switzerland had a problem concerning tax evasion. Although a crime in other countries, it is not a punishable offence in Switzerland.

He said he had a “certain understanding” for European Union attempts to contain tax evasion. “If Brussels manages to find solutions and major financial centres outside the EU are willing to join, then Switzerland will have to negotiate,” he said.

The finance minister, Kaspar Villiger said on Thursday that Switzerland would show cooperation in the fight against tax evasion.

However, he has repeatedly said that banking confidentiality is not up for negotiation.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR