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

The SNB's assets currently consist almost exclusively of currency reserves. In addition, a Swiss franc bond portfolio is held, amounting to CHF 4 billion. The investment structure is published on the Foreign exchange reserves and Swiss franc bond investments page.

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

In applying its investment policy, the SNB has two main objectives. The first is to ensure that its balance sheet can be used for monetary policy purposes at any time. In particular, the SNB must be in a position to expand or shrink the balance sheet if necessary. Its second objective is to preserve the value of currency reserves in the long term. In order to achieve these objectives, the SNB's investment policy must be oriented towards high liquidity and broad diversification.

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.