The SNB uses repo transactions to manage the Swiss franc liquidity in the financial system, thereby keeping the secured short-term Swiss franc money market rates close to the SNB policy rate. Find further information on the SNB’s repo transactions here, for example concerning collateral eligible for SNB repos, as well as current circular letters to market participants.
Documents concerning repos and collateral eligible for SNB repos
Guidelines and instruction sheets
Collateral eligible for SNB repos
Collateral eligible for SNB repos
In accordance with art. 9 para. 1 (e) of the National Bank Act, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) may enter into credit transactions with banks and other financial market participants on condition that sufficient collateral is provided for the loans. As a rule, open market transactions are carried out and standing facilities are used by means of repo transactions.
Only securities that fulfil stringent requirements with regard to credit rating and liquidity are accepted as collateral by the SNB. The criteria for the eligibility of securities are detailed in the ‘Instruction sheet on collateral eligible for SNB repos’. Only those securities included in the list of collateral eligible for SNB repos may be pledged as collateral for repo transactions. The SNB decides whether securities will be included in the list of collateral or excluded from it. All securities contained in the list form part of the SNB GC Basket.
Based on their characteristics, the securities in the SNB GC Basket are assigned to additional baskets. The L1 Basket contains Swiss franc and foreign currency securities issued by, as a rule, central banks, public sector entities and multilateral development banks. The L2A Basket contains all other securities from the SNB GC Basket. In addition, Swiss franc securities are pooled in an L1 CHF Basket and an L2A CHF Basket.
The SNB maintains the 'List of collateral eligible for SNB repos (SNB GC Basket)', updating and publishing it on a daily basis. It also publishes a list of all modifications to the basket. This list covers new inclusions, exclusions and redemptions over the last 12 months and is also updated every day. By subscribing to an RSS feed, you will receive a daily update of the latest list of securities eligible for SNB repos.
An online search function (Search list) can be used to check whether a particular security is eligible for SNB repos. A similar function is also available for the modifications (Search modifications), allowing specific searches to be carried out for new inclusions, exclusions and redemptions. Personal search settings can be saved (in Favourites) or exported as a CSV or XML file.
The two list tables accessible below use Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (file format: .xlsx). Users with older Excel versions are requested to download the tables in CSV format (cf. Search list and Search modifications).
If you wish to apply for inclusion of a security in the list or if you have questions relating to the list, to modifications or to the ‘Instruction sheet on collateral eligible for SNB repos’, please contact the Portfolio & Financial Data Administration team, SNB Department III, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The SNB does not comment on inclusion in the list of collateral eligible for SNB repos prior to the payment date.
Circular letters to market participants
Archive circular letters
Questions and answers on repo transactions
The SNB uses repo transactions to manage the liquidity in the financial system and thereby the supply of liquidity to the economy. These are to be distinguished from foreign currency repo transactions, which the SNB uses to manage its foreign currency investments as well as from repo transactions within the context of liquidity swap arrangements to provide SNB counterparties with foreign currencies. Repo transactions are temporary, with maturities usually ranging between one day (overnight) and a maximum of one year. The SNB conducts liquidity-providing or liquidity-absorbing repo transactions, depending on what is necessary in terms of monetary policy and the liquidity situation on the money market. In the case of a liquidity-providing repo transaction, the SNB purchases securities from a bank (or other market participant) and credits the associated sum in Swiss francs to the counterparty's sight deposit account at the SNB. At the same time, it is agreed that at the end of the term, the counterparty will purchase securities of the same type and quantity from the SNB. For this limited-term Swiss franc loan, which is covered by securities, an interest rate is charged, referred to as the repo rate. The liquidity-absorbing repo transaction (reverse repo) works in the opposite direction: The SNB sells securities to the counterparty and debits the associated amount of Swiss francs from the counterparty's sight deposit account, on the understanding that the SNB will repurchase the securities at the end of the term. A rate of interest, i.e. the repo rate, is paid for the term of the agreement. In the same way, banks also conduct repo transactions amongst themselves (on the secured interbank market) to manage liquidity and optimise their processes in this regard.
The SNB conducts repo transactions to ensure that the secured short-term money market rates in Swiss francs remain close to the SNB policy rate. It does so either through overnight bilateral repo transactions (fine-tuning operations) or repo auctions with longer terms. Repo transactions can be used to both provide or absorb liquidity.
The SNB uses repo transactions to implement its monetary policy. They are never concluded with the aim of generating returns. Repo transactions are used to manage liquidity and influence interest rates. Depending on the market situation and what is necessary in terms of monetary policy, interest on such transactions is payable either by the financial market participants involved or by the SNB.
In principle, all banks domiciled in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein are admissible as counterparties for SNB monetary policy operations. Other domestic financial market participants, such as insurance companies and foreign banks, may be admitted to monetary policy operations provided there is a monetary policy interest in doing so and they contribute to liquidity on the secured Swiss franc money market.