The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

SNB Escalated Foreign Currency Sales in Q4

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 28 March 2024

The Swiss National Bank ramps up its foreign currency disposals.

SNB Escalated Foreign Currency Sales in Q4
Keystone/PETER KLAUNZER

As previously announced, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) continued its foreign currency sales in the fourth quarter of 2023. From October to December, the central bank sold the equivalent of CHF 22.7 billion worth of foreign currency.

This is according to SNB statistics published on Thursday. A few days ago, when it published its annual report, the SNB stated that it had sold a total of CHF 132.9 billion worth of foreign currencies in 2023. The figure for the last quarter of the year could therefore already be calculated from this.

The SNB thus significantly accelerated its foreign currency sales in 2023: in 2022, it had still sold the equivalent of 22.3 billion in foreign currency. The monetary authorities’ paradigm shift therefore took place that year.

Before 2022, the SNB had always bought foreign currency to prevent the Swiss franc from appreciating too much. In 2021, for example, foreign currencies worth CHF 21.1 billion were still being purchased, and in 2020 the figure was almost CHF 110 billion.

In the meantime, the focus was on selling foreign currencies. The SNB is fighting inflation not only by raising interest rates, but also through a strong Swiss franc. An appreciating franc helps to import less inflation from abroad.

Inflation has now fallen back into the desired range, which enabled the SNB to lower its key interest rates last week. Foreign currency sales are therefore no longer a priority for the currency guardians, although they still reserve the right to intervene.

©Keystone/SDA

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