SNB Won’t Exclude Negative Interest Rates, Spokesman Meier Says

The Swiss National Bank is willing to take further measures such as negative interest rates if pressure on the franc intensifies, spokesman Walter Meier said today.

“If needed we would take extra measures, with a negative rate a conceivable option,” Meier said by phone from Zurich, adding that this was the SNB’s standard comment. The SNB holds its next policy meeting on Sept. 18.

The franc, which investors favor in times of crisis, touched a 21-month high last week after the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates and announced an asset-purchase program. The SNB set a cap of 1.20 per euro on the franc three years ago to ward off deflation and a recession.

The Swiss currency fell as much as 0.4 percent to 1.2119 per euro today, its lowest since Aug. 15, and was trading at 1.2106 at 3:40 p.m. in Zurich. Against the dollar it stood at 93.80 centimes

Earlier today, Alternate Governing Board Member Thomas Moser told the Wall Street Journal the SNB was “never shy” about negative rates.

At the SNB’s last policy review on June 19, President Thomas Jordan termed the introduction of negative rates as “a possible option.”

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