International Monetary Fund
The IMF as guardian of the international monetary and financial system
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) promotes the stability of the international monetary and financial system as well as macroeconomic and financial stability in its member countries. Its main fields of activity are economic policy surveillance, the provision of financial support to countries faced with balance of payments difficulties, and technical assistance.
The IMF is the central institution for international monetary cooperation. Switzerland is jointly represented in the IMF by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) and the SNB. The Chairman of the SNB's Governing Board is a member of the IMF's highest decision-making body, the Board of Governors, which consists of a representative from each member country. The Head of the FDF is one of the 24 members of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF's steering committee.
Switzerland has been a member of the IMF since 1992 and is part of a voting group (constituency) whose other members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The constituency's Executive Director holds one of the 24 seats on the Executive Board. The Executive Board is in charge of the daily business of the IMF. Since November 2014, Switzerland and Poland have alternated in appointing the constituency's Executive Director for a term of two years. The post of Swiss Executive Director is held alternately by a representative of the FDF and the SNB. The FDF and the SNB determine Switzerland's policy in the IMF and support the constituency's Executive Director in his or her activities.
Country reports on Switzerland's economic policy
The IMF monitors and assesses the economic performance of each of its members on a regular basis (usually once a year). The most recent assessment of the Swiss economy can be found at:
At less frequent intervals, the IMF also assesses the stability of member countries' financial systems. The most recent assessment of the Swiss financial sector can be found at:
Switzerland's financial relations with the IMF
The financial obligations arising from the membership in the IMF are met by the Swiss National Bank (as at end-December 2019).Maximum amountOf which drawnOf which not yet drawnQuotaSDR 5,771.1 m
(CHF 7,754.2 m)SDR 705.4 m
(CHF 947.8 m)SDR 5,065.7 m
(CHF 6,806.4 m)NABSDR 5,540.7 m
(CHF 7,444.6 m)SDR 312.1 m
(CHF 419.4 m)SDR 5,228.6 m
(CHF 7,025.2 m)Bilateral credit lineSDR 6,326.1 m
(CHF 8,500.0 m)SDR 0.0 m
(CHF 0.0 m)SDR 6,326.1 m
(CHF 8,500.0 m)PRGTSDR 1,002.5 m
(CHF 1,347.0 m)SDR 133.0 m
(CHF 178.8 m)SDR 869.4 m
(CHF 1,168.2 m)Voluntary Trading ArrangementSDR 1,644.0 m
(CHF 2,209.0 m)SDR -27.8 m
(CHF -37.3 m)SDR 1,671.8 m
(CHF 2,246.2 m)
Special Drawing Right
The Special Drawing Right (SDR) is an IMF unit of account calculated on the basis of the weighted exchange rates of the US dollar, euro, renminbi, yen and pound sterling.
Quotas are the IMF's main source of financing. Member states' quotas are based broadly on their relative economic position in the world economy. Switzerland's quota amounts to SDR 5,771.1 million, which corresponds to 1.21% of the IMF's quota total of SDR 477 billion. The used portion of the Swiss quota paid to the IMF is a liquid item on which the SNB can draw on request.
New Arrangements to Borrow
The New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) form a financial safety net for the IMF. As a supplement to its quotas, the NAB can be activated to provide the IMF with up to SDR 182 billion if necessary. To date, there are 38 member countries participating in the NAB. The SNB's maximum loan commitment under the NAB is SDR 5,540.7 million. The used portion of the Swiss quota and the funds used under the NAB are part of the reserve assets.
Bilateral credit line
Bilateral borrowing arrangements strengthen the IMF's lending capacity when the quota and NAB resources have been largely exhausted. These funds are available to the IMF with an initial term to end-2019, extendable through end-2020 with creditors' consent. To date, many member countries or their central banks have committed funds under bilateral borrowing arrangements, with the total amounting to around SDR 300 billion. The SNB has granted the IMF a bilateral credit line of CHF 8,500 million.
Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust
The Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) provides loans to low-income member countries at preferential terms. The PRGT is financed through bilateral contributions and through the IMF's own resources. The SNB finances the Swiss contribution to the PRGT capital in the form of loans. The Confederation guarantees the SNB the timely repayment of the loans, including interest; it also finances the interest subsidies.
Voluntary Trading Arrangements
The SDR is not just a unit of account, it is also a reserve currency created by the IMF and an international means of payment. Under the Voluntary Trading Arrangement with the IMF, the SNB has committed to purchase (+) or sell (-) SDRs against foreign currencies (USD, EUR) up to an agreed maximum of SDR 1,644 million.