Thomas Jordan, Martin Schlegel and Andréa M Maechler: Introductory remarks by the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank news conference

Introductory remarks by Mr Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the SNB, Mr Martin Schlegel, Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the SNB, Ms Andréa M Maechler, Member of the Governing Board of the SNB, at the Media News Conference of the Swiss National Bank, Zurich, 23 March 2023.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
24 March 2023

Ladies and gentlemen

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the news conference of the Swiss National Bank. After our introductory remarks, we will take questions from journalists as usual.

Contribution to financial stability

Ensuring price stability is and will remain the core objective of the SNB. Our monetary policy assessment has taken place in an exceptional situation. Last week, there was a loss of confidence in Credit Suisse. In order to avert damage to Switzerland, on Sunday the authorities decided on extensive measures to safeguard financial stability. The SNB contributed to this solution within the framework of its mandate. I would like to describe our contribution in more detail and explain why it was necessary.

The global crisis of confidence rapidly intensified last week due to the turmoil in the US banking industry. From Wednesday onwards, this had a direct impact on Credit Suisse's liquidity situation as a result of strong outflows of customer deposits and cuts in counterparty limits. The SNB then lent Credit Suisse large amounts of liquidity in Swiss francs and foreign currencies. The extensive liquidity assistance provided the time needed to find a solution to safeguard financial stability. This solution had to be worked out under considerable time pressure in order to be ready before the Asian markets opened this week. A Credit Suisse bankruptcy would have had serious consequences for national and international financial stability and for the Swiss economy. Taking this risk would have been irresponsible. On Sunday, the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS was announced. At that time, we said that the SNB would provide additional substantial liquidity in the form of loans to support the successful implementation of the takeover.