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SNB meets government Swiss franc still highly valued, but no policy change

SNB chairman Thomas Jordan

Jordan has been chairman of the SNB since 2012.

(Keystone)

The Swiss franc, investment in arms, and the housing market were some of the issues the government discussed with the chairman of the Swiss National Bank.

SNB chairman Thomas Jordan told the government that he sees the Swiss currency as highly valued and warned of the continuing risks of bubbles in the housing market.

“Jordan emphasised that monetary policy with negative interest rates and the willingness to intervene [on foreign exchange markets] remains necessary,” according to a government statement published on Wednesday.

In June, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer criticised the bank’s balance sheet, saying its expansion is “on the verge of sustainability”. Commentators described the reported statement as an interference in the independence of the SNB.

Wednesday’s meeting also saw discussions on the investment policy of the central bank, indirectly referring to criticism about the SNB holding shares in arms companies.

In its appraisal of the overall situation, the government gave the Swiss economy a clean bill of health but warned of external dangers.

“The global economy continues to develop robustly, and the economy is also in good shape in Switzerland. However, the risk of a worsening international situation has increased,” it summed up.

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS, Reuters/ug

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