Swiss national bank agrees CHF6 billion profit distribution deal

The facade of the SNB in Bern Keystone / Stf

The Swiss National Bank looks set to increase its payout to the Swiss government and cantons. It could reach up to CHF6 billion ($6.74 billion) a year.

This content was published on January 29, 2021 - 19:38
Reuters/Keystone-SDA/FDF-SNB statement/ilj

The new profit distribution agreement between the bank and the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), announced on Friday eveningExternal link, covers the financial years from 2020 to 2025. Under the previous arrangement, the SNB could make a maximum payout of CHF4 billion.

The SNBExternal link has faced calls from some politicians to help support the economy, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 downturn and measures introduced to tackle the virus.

The increased payment will be made “provided the SNB’s financial situation permits,” a government and bank statement said. The full payout will be made if the SNB makes a profit of CHF40 billion francs.

The SNB said earlier this month it expected to make a profit of around CHF21 billion for 2020.

After taking into account the bank’s distribution reserves, its 2020 net profit will be in the region of CHF98 billion, so it will make the full CHF6 billion payout for 2020, Reuters said.

“Under the National Bank Act, the SNB is obliged to set up provisions from its annual result to maintain the currency reserves at the level necessary for monetary policy. The profit remaining after allocating funds to the provisions is, in principle, available for distribution to the Confederation [government] and cantons,” the statement explained.

To ensure that the distribution flows are smoothed in the medium term, the FDF and the SNB set out the key elements in a multi-year agreement.

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