A view on Switzerland in the run up to the demonetisation of gold

June 14, 1999
22nd Annual FT World Gold Conference, London

Download file now

The file can be downloaded with the button below.


The process of demonetisation of gold is well under way in Switzerland and one can reasonably expect that the gold parity of the Swiss franc will be abandoned in the spring of next year. The demonetisation of gold will give the Swiss National Bank sufficient room for manoeuvre to become active on the market. Gold transactions could thus be scheduled to begin next year when the legal framework will be in place. Greater uncertainty surrounds the question of the allocation of excess reserves, but this will have no impact on the sales intentions of the Swiss National Bank.

As a major holder of gold, the Swiss National Bank has no interest in adopting a strategy which would push the gold price down. 1300 tonnes of gold, the volume earmarked for sales, cannot be absorbed by the market in a short period of time. The National Bank is therefore considering distributing the sales over a period of several years. But gold will continue to play an important role in Switzerland's monetary reserves. The recent revision of the Constitution has led to the stipulation that the Swiss National Bank should maintain "sufficient" gold reserves. This element was introduced at the initiative of the Swiss parliament, which indicates that the Swiss people wish to keep ample gold reserves. Consequently, the National Bank does not envisage going beyond the announced plan of selling 1300 tonnes.

Additional files

Related content


  • Jean-Pierre Roth
    Vice Chairman of the Governing Board

Your settings

Required: These cookies (e.g. for storing your IP address) cannot be rejected as they are necessary to ensure the operation of the website. These data are not evaluated further.
Analytics: If you consent to this category, data such as IP address, location, device information, browser version and site visitor behaviour will be collected. These data are evaluated for the SNB's internal purposes and are kept for two years.
Third-party: If you consent to this category, third-party services (used, for example, to add social multimedia content to the SNB's website) will be activated which collect personal data, process these data, disclose them abroad - worldwide - and place cookies. The relevant data protection regulations are linked in the 'Privacy statement for the website of the Swiss National Bank'.

Choose your preferred settings:

This website uses cookies, analytics tools and other technologies to provide requested features, content and services, to personalise the content shown, to provide links to social media, and to analyse the use of the website in anonymised form for the purposes of improving usability. Personal data are also disclosed abroad - worldwide - to video service providers and the analytics tools of these providers are used. More information is available under 'Manage settings'.