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Why can’t the Swiss National Bank go bankrupt?

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) will make a loss of CHF132 billion in 2022, and distribution of profits to the confederation and the cantons will be suspended. What does this mean for the stability of the SNB and what would happen if it faces another large loss?

The SNB still has money. However, not quite as much as at the beginning of last year. Because of last year’s loss, its equity capital has fallen from CHF198 billion to CHF66 billion. In the event of another large loss, the SNB is threatened with over-indebtedness.

What would that mean for the SNB? And why, from an economic point of view, could the SNB pay out a profit to the confederation and the cantons again this year? We clarify these questions in the latest Geldcast update.

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Author Fabio Canetg completed his doctorate in monetary policy at the University of Bern and the Toulouse School of Economics. Today he is a lecturer at the University of Bern. As a journalist, he works for SRF Arena, Republik Magazin and SWI, where he hosts the monetary policy podcast “Geldcast”.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR