Comments by SNB chief, Thomas Jordan, to CNBC

  • Negative rates are a necessity
  • Negative rates have side effects, SNB trying to minimise those side effects
  • Balance of risks is tilted to the downside
  • SNB conducts independent monetary policy, does not follow the ECB
  • But needs to take international environment into account
  • SNB could still cut rates if needed
  • Franc is still highly valued
  • Must maintain negative rates, interventions
  • SNB can intervene as necessary

The headline remark can be interpreted as saying that they are not big fans of the Swiss franc appreciating. The other remarks so far are the usual platitudes offered by Jordan in every other SNB press conference in the past.

But in this case, these are sensitive times for the franc after having had a period of strong performance last week - after the US put Switzerland on the currency manipulation watchlist.

It is up to the SNB now to try and change the market perception that such an event will not translate to prolonged and sustained strength in the currency.