swiss national bank ditches euro exchange floor

Swiss National Bank Ditches Euro Exchange Floor

Banking, General News, 15.01.2015
Today, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued the minimum euro exchange rate.

The SNB’s decision seemed to come out of nowhere and even took experts by surprise.

The almost immediate reaction to the lifting of the euro fixed exchange rate of CHF 1.20 to EUR 1.00 was a short-term dive in the euro rate. The value of a euro plummeted from the artificial rate of CHF 1.20 per euro to just CHF 0.8591 per euro.

The Swiss tourism and export-based industry sectors are likely to be hard-hit, at least in the short term, which has led to a notable, short-term drop in the SMI.

The SNB is also maintaining negative interest rates. The interest on SNB revolving credit accounts held by merchant banks, insurance companies and wealth managers will go down a further 0.5 percentage points to -0.75 percent.

The negative interest rate of -0.75% applies from January 22, 2015. However, not all assets are subject to this rate. Negative interest rates only apply to deposits worth 10 million francs, or 20 times the minimum reserve required by law.

What that means is that some Swiss banks will not be subjected to negative interest rates at this point in time. For foreign financial services providers, on the other hand, negative interest rates apply to all deposits

The aim is a negative region of between -1,25 and -0.25 percent for the 3-month LIBOR base rate.

While slapping savings accounts with negative interest rates is unlikely (for marketing reasons), deposit yield rates may continue to drop and banks will likely continue to raise fees across consumer accounts.

More on this topic:
Negative interest rates on Swiss savings accounts?
Savings account comparison
What is a LIBOR?

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