Swiss National Bank posts $14.9 billion loss


4th March, 2019 07:32:29 printer

Swiss National Bank posts $14.9 billion loss

The Swiss National Bank on Monday posted an annual loss of 14.9 billion Swiss francs ($14.9 billion), as it continued to deploy a range of tactics to keep the franc's value under control.


The Swiss currency has been viewed as a safe haven in turbulent economic times.


Since the 2008 financial crisis, the BNS has broadened its options to guard against the Swiss franc becoming overvalued.


Those tactics involve massive foreign currency holdings, including in equities, which can leave the SNB exposed to stock market swings like those seen at the end of 2018.


In a statement, the SNB said its foreign currency positions lost 16.3 billion Swiss francs last year.


But it made 2.0 billion Swiss francs in 2018 from negative interest rates, another measure it uses to dampen the franc's value.


The SNB charges negative rates on certain accounts in order to keep investors from buying Swiss francs.


Last year, the SNB posted a record profit of 54 billion Swiss francs thanks to gains on its foreign currency and gold holdings.


In January 2015, the central bank decided to stop trying to hold down the franc's value against the euro.


That decision sent the franc soaring in value against major currencies and contributed to turbulence on global markets.