Monday, January 9, 2012

Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand Resigns

The Swiss National Bank announced that Chairman, Philipp Hildebrand, "is resigning from his office as Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank" with immediate effect.  The SNB Governing Board also noted that it would continue its policy of a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 against the Euro, with "utmost determination".  Hildebrand's resignation followed allegations that his wife had acted on insider information about an impending SNB policy move in regards to foreign exchange transactions.  Vice Chairman, Thomas Jordan, will hold the position of Chairman in the interim.

The Governing Board of the SNB noted Hildebrand's significant contributions and achievements in the field of monetary policy and his dedication and service to the Bank and Switzerland.  Hildebrand's tenure as SNB Chairman oversaw a number of key policy moves during a challenging time, for example moving to a zero interest rate policy, and the implementation of an exchange rate floor for the Swiss franc.

The Swiss franc (CHF) strengthened about 3% against the Euro last year, with the Swiss franc gaining as much as 17% at its strongest point on the back of safe-haven buying as concerns about the European sovereign debt crisis picked up in the later part of last year.  The EURCHF exchange rate last traded around 1.21 and USDCHF rate around 0.95.


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