Investment of assets

Nature and purpose of the SNB's assets

The assets of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) fulfil important monetary policy functions. They consist largely of foreign currency assets, gold and, to a lesser extent, financial assets in Swiss francs. Their size and composition are determined by the established monetary order and the requirements of monetary policy.

Breakdown of assets

At the end of 2016, the SNB’s assets amounted to CHF 747 billion, which was CHF 106 billion higher than one year earlier. They consisted almost exclusively of currency reserves. In addition, a Swiss franc bond portfolio amounting to CHF 4 billion was held.

Currency reserves

Under art. 5 para. 2 of the National Bank Act (NBA), the SNB is responsible for managing the currency reserves, part of which must be held in the form of gold (art. 99 para. 3 Federal Constitution).

Asset management

Asset management is governed by the primacy of monetary policy and is carried out in accordance with the criteria of security, liquidity and return. Investment policy takes into consideration all central bank requirements and is based on comprehensive risk / return analyses.

Investment principles

The SNB’s own Investment Policy Guidelines define the scope for its investments and for the investment and risk management process.

Investment performance

Returns on currency reserves and Swiss franc bonds are published under investment performance and in the Annual Report of the Swiss National Bank.