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Neinhaus, Andreas

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Finanz und Wirtschaft - Switzerland | 18/12/2014

Swiss National Bank follows ECB's lead

Switzerland's National Bank (SNB) announced on Thursday that it is introducing negative interest rates in a bid to prevent the Swiss franc from rising further in value. This step shows how dependent the central bank in Bern is on the euro, the business weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft comments: "The law guarantees the institutional autonomy [of the SNB]. But in its monetary policy it doesn't act freely and is forced to react to events abroad. It has been doing this for years, often following the lead of the European Central Bank, which in June introduced negative interest rates on the central bank deposits of commercial banks and is now preparing bond purchases to further weaken the euro. The SNB let itself be forced into a radical monetary course with the cap on the franc's value against the euro. Given the current situation in Switzerland with its overheated real estate market this is less than optimal. But its hands are tied."

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