Summary of a speech delivered by the President of the Bank Council
Eduard Belser, President of the Bank Council
Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, 26 April 2002, 26.04.2002
Complete text in German: "Präsidialansprache an der Generalversammlung der Schweizerischen Nationalbank"
Complete text in French: "Allocution d'ouverture à l'Assemblée générale des actionnaires"
At the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, the retiring president of the Bank Council of the Swiss National Bank, Eduard Belser, elaborates on the central bank's annual accounts for 2001 and the new profit distribution agreement with the Confederation. Furthermore, he presents the Study Centre Gerzensee and discusses issues of international cooperation.
The business activity of the Swiss National Bank took its normal course in the past year. Aggregate income for 2001 amounted to Sfr 4.1 billion. At Sfr 425 million, ordinary expenditure fell considerably short of the previous year's level (Sfr 565 million).
In conformity with the new profit distribution agreement between the Federal Department of Finance and the SNB, annual profit distribution is to be increased in future from currently Sfr 1.5 billion to Sfr 2.5 billion. The new agreement is valid for a period of ten years, with the Confederation and the cantons already receiving a higher distribution as from spring 2003. At the end of this period, the distribution will be limited to the amount of earnings actually achieved.
The Study Centre Gerzensee, a foundation of the National Bank, was inaugurated in 1986. The main task of the Study Centre is to provide training courses for central bank staff from all over the world, notably from developing and emerging countries.
Aside from maintaining multilateral international relations with the central banks of major industrial countries, the National Bank concentrates on establishing close relations with the central banks of the group of countries with which Switzerland cooperates in the International Monetary Fund. The SNB currently grants technical aid primarily to the central banks of the countries of Central Asia.