• Switzerland's news in English
Swiss central bank to post massive loss
Photo: AFP

Swiss central bank to post massive loss

The Local · 8 Jan 2016, 09:30

Published: 08 Jan 2016 09:30 GMT+01:00

This contrasts with the record profit of 38 billion francs recorded in the previous year

The central bank said its foreign currency losses amounted to 20 billion francs, while gold holdings lost four billion francs in value.

The value of Swiss franc holdings totalled one billion francs.

When a 1.4 billion-franc allocation to currency reserves is added to the loss, the bank expects to end up 24.5 billion francs in the red.

Despite the massive loss, the SNB said it has a distribution reserve of 27.5 billion francs which will soak up the red ink and allow for dividend payments of 15 francs per share and a profit distribution of one billion francs to the federal authorities and the cantons.

After these payments, the central bank said its distribution reserve will amount to two billion francs.

The figures released on Friday are provisional, ahead of final numbers to be released on March 4th.

A year ago, the SNB abandoned a minimum floor for the euro of 1.20 francs, maintained for more than three years, and foreign currency traders immediately drove up the Swiss franc.

Story continues below…

Initially, the franc flirted with parity against the euro, which has since inched back up to around 1.08 francs after the central bank cut interest rates to minus 0.75 percent on large deposits.

The drop in the value of the euro would appear to account for much of the central bank’s losses in the past year, which rose to more than 50 billion francs in the first six months, the SDA news agency reported.

A slight weakening of the franc enabled then bank to reduce its losses, with profits recorded in the last two quarters.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Marcel Chassot/Bernaqua

Clients at a Bern waterpark were horrified to spot a drone hovering over a nudist area.

Kidnapping of Swiss boy raises online gaming fears
File photo: Rachel Johnson

A 12-year-old Swiss boy was allegedly abused by a German man he first met online.

Study: Swiss among world’s most socially progressive
Photo: Janek Skarzynkski/AFP

Switzerland is one of the world’s most socially progressive countries, according to a new report.

Escaped Swiss cow loses holiday rights
Ilana the cow spent ten days on the loose before being recaptured. Photo: Graubünden police

There will be no summer holiday for Ilana the Highland cow.

Swiss giant Nestlé bucks history with new top dog
Schneider, 50, is a German-US national. Photo: Daniel Roland/AFP

The appointment of new CEO Ulf Mark Schneider marks a new, nutrition-focused era for Nestlé.

Signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Photo: Justice and Security Department, Basel

New signs in Basel’s red light district will show streetwalkers where they may legally tout for business.

Muslim school kids must swim to be Swiss
Swimming lessons are compulsory in Basel's education system. Photo: Daniel Orth

Two Muslim teenage girls were denied a Swiss passport because they refused to participate in school swimming lessons on religious grounds.

Brexit voters ‘misinformed’ on Swiss relations with EU
The Swiss president meets with European leaders on the first Gotthard train. Photo: Ruben Sprich/AFP

Leave campaigners calling for Britain to be like Switzerland did not truly understand Switzerland’s relationship with the EU, one commentator tells The Local.

France demands Swiss bank UBS face fraud trial
File photo: Martin Abegglen

The bank is accused of orchestrating a vast system of tax fraud in France.

Federer wins uninspired Wimbledon opener
File photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Roger Federer was well short of his best as he advanced to the second round.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
File photo: Kochtopf
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Geneva to get 'café fellatio' by end of year
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
A guaranteed basic income: why did the Swiss say no?
Photo: Andreas Gerth/Swiss-Image.ch
Switzerland’s breathtaking Unesco World Heritage sites
Photo: Nestle
Nestlé celebrates 150 years with museum openings
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Report: Swiss are officially ‘good’ for the planet
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
World agog at bizarre Gotthard Base Tunnel opening
Photo: Coop
Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Photo: IMD
Business & Money
Report: Swiss economy more competitive than US
Photo: Aargau police
Murderer escapes from Swiss psych hospital
Photo: Grande-Dixence SA/essencedesign.com
8 fantastic reasons to visit French-speaking Switzerland
Photo: Terroir Fribourg
Swiss village to make world’s biggest meringue
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Swiss Tourism
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard
Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
jobs available