Profit and distribution of profits
The National Bank Act contains a special provision governing the determination of profits (art. 30): the National Bank shall set up provisions permitting it to maintain the currency reserves at a level necessary for monetary policy. In so doing, it shall take into account the development of the Swiss economy.
The distribution of profits is regulated as follows (art. 31): a dividend not exceeding six percent of the share capital shall be paid from the net profit. One-third of any net profit remaining after the distribution shall accrue to the Confederation and two-thirds to the cantons.
The Swiss Federal Department of Finance and the SNB shall, for a specified period of time, agree on the amount of the annual profit distribution to the Confederation and the cantons with the aim of balancing these distributions in the medium term. The currently valid agreement on the distribution of the SNB's profits (concluded in 2016) provides that an annual amount of CHF 1 billion will be distributed to the Confederation and the cantons for the financial years 2016 to 2020, provided that the distribution reserve is not negative after appropriation of profit. There has also been a supplementary agreement in force since 28 February 2020.