The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Swiss National Bank records biggest loss in its history

  • By Paige Baschuk
  • 1 November 2022

Is Switzerland abiding by EU immigration laws, how the country broke a Swiss train record, and more in our roundup of news from October 28 – November 1.

Swiss National Bank records biggest loss in its history

SNB records biggest loss in its history

The Swiss National Bank lost CHF 142 billion from January through the end of September, SNB announced this week. It is the largest loss in SNB’s 115-year history. Rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine, and the bolstering of the Swiss franc cut the value of SNB’s foreign investments. “The problem is the stagflationary environment where equities lose, bonds lose, gold loses and the Swiss franc becomes stronger. Normally bonds and gold gain when equities lose. But that’s not happened in 2022,” said UBS economist Alessandro Bee. In 2020, SNB made a CHF 41.4 billion profit. While the bank is not in peril of bankruptcy thanks to its near all-liquid assets, it could halt payments to Switzerland’s federal and cantonal government next year as a result. Read more.

Swiss National Bank records biggest loss in its history

(Credit: UK Daily News)

Swiss train breaks world record

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of Switzerland’s first railway, the country’s rail network this weekend ran the world’s longest-ever passenger train – with 100 cars and extending almost two kilometers long. The national rail system made up the record-breaking train by putting together 25 of its new “Capricorn” electric trains. The long train ran along the UNESCO World Heritage Albula Line from Preda to Alvaneu – a course that is famous for is steep descents and artistic curves. It took about an hour for the long train to cover 25 kilometers. Normal services between Albula and St. Moritz were paused for 12 hours while the train broke the world record. A few thousand spectators celebrated the successful attempt with a festival in Bergün. Read more.

Swiss National Bank records biggest loss in its history

Report: Switzerland will not undergo energy outages winter

Energy bans and outages are not necessary to help Switzerland get through the winter, according to a report from the Federal Office of Energy, the electricity company Swissgrid, and the Federal Electricity Commission (Elcom). The “System Adequacy” report, which has not been made public yet, looked at four different scenarios for the upcoming Swiss winter. In three of them, Switzerland got through without bans or outages, thanks to a combination of energy reserves and voluntary conservation efforts by the public. The biggest risk Switzerland faces is a gas shortage. Read more.

Germany: Switzerland is not doing its part to quell illegal immigration

German officials this week criticized Switzerland for allowing immigrants to travel to neighboring countries instead of sending them back to their country of origination, as is stipulated in the Schengen Area agreement with the EU. Each week about 1,000 migrants – mostly young Afghans not seeking asylum – arrive at Switzerland’s eastern border at St. Gallen. Cantonal officers are accused of “waving them through” to Germany illegally. “Switzerland does not forward migrants. Switzerland is not waving through,” an official from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) told local newspaper NZZ. About three times as many migrants are arriving at Switzerland’s eastern border this year. The number of illegal immigrants crossing into the EU has reached its highest level since 2016, according to EU border agency Frontex. Read more.

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