Through its involvement in international monetary cooperation, the SNB is represented at the IMF in Washington, DC and at the OECD in Paris. In order to efficiently manage its foreign exchange reserves, the SNB also has a branch office in Singapore.
Against the background of the sharp expansion in foreign exchange reserves and the growing importance of Asian financial markets, the SNB decided in 2012 to open a branch in Singapore, the aim being to ensure more efficient management of its assets in the Asia-Pacific region. This local presence allows the SNB to extend its coverage of markets in Asia, and facilitates its round-the-clock operations on the foreign exchange market. Geographical proximity to investment markets and participants in these markets also allows for a better understanding of the local markets and economic areas.
Switzerland leads a voting group of nine countries on the IMF Executive Board, which is composed of 24 Directors. The SNB and the Federal Department of Finance each have two representatives in the Executive Director's office in Washington, DC. The main tasks of the office are to oversee the day-to-day business of the IMF and to ensure that the positions of the Swiss-led constituency are adequately represented on the Executive Board. The Board usually meets several times each week and carries out its work largely on the basis of papers prepared by IMF management and staff. The office also ensures the necessary coordination between the SNB and the IMF, for example during the country surveillance exercise (Article IV consultation) or during the Spring and Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.
The SNB has a diplomatic representative in Paris, who is posted at the Permanent Delegation of Switzerland to the OECD. Their role is to cover economic, monetary and financial topics that are important to the SNB, as well as to report on the development of OECD standards and legal instruments. Besides macroeconomic aspects, the SNB representative provides information on the OECD's research on new business trends, digitalisation and innovative technologies in the financial service industry that are becoming more and more relevant to the work of central banks.
Secondments to multilateral institutions are used on an ad-hoc basis as a way of allowing SNB employees to gain first-hand knowledge of an organisation and its work. These special assignments are temporary and are aimed at fostering skills enhancement, knowledge sharing and strategic cooperation between the SNB and multilateral institutions. The SNB also has a secondment programme with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think tank based in Washington, DC.