Challenges posed by the growth in the SNB's foreign exchange reserves

Fritz Zurbrügg, Member of the Governing Board

Money Market Event, Geneva, 08.11.2012

Since the onset of the crisis in 2008, central banks have adopted a number of measures to address the challenges they face. These measures have increased the size of their balance sheets significantly. In Switzerland, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has seen its foreign exchange reserves grow substantially. Managing these reserves is a major challenge, and has become the subject of much scrutiny by both the media and SNB watchers.

In this presentation, Fritz Zurbrügg, Member of the Governing Board, briefly explains the recent developments with respect to the SNB's foreign exchange reserves. He then describes the guiding principles behind the management of the SNB's foreign exchange reserves and outlines the current situation. In conclusion, he analyses the main challenges the SNB faces in managing these reserves. In particular, he highlights the factors which differentiate the SNB from a classical investor, and explains the steps the SNB is taking to ensure that the reserves are managed as efficiently as possible.