Summary of a speech delivered by the President of the Bank Council

Jakob Schönenberger, President of the Bank Council

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Berne, 23.04.1999

In his opening address, the retiring President of the Bank Council, Jakob Schönenberger, reviewed the extraordinary events during his six-year term. He distinguished between the important developments in the world economy in general and in Switzerland in particular. He emphasised the trends on the financial markets and the structural changes affecting the Swiss banking sector. Many of these changes can be summarised under the heading globalisation and rationalisation. Efforts toward the creation of an economic and currency union as well as the many mergers between companies in the financial sector are especially worth mentioning.

Finally, the President of the Bank Council recalled the events in the National Bank’s immediate environment during the period under review. Overall, he characterised this period as an era marked by radical changes. In closing, he pointed out that - in a new European environment - the Swiss path and that of the National Bank has not become any easier.