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Ferdinando Giugliano

Swiss Bank Accounts Aren't as Great as They Used to Be

UBS, Credit Suisse and Julius Baer are all passing on negative rates to large account holders. It’s bizarre to argue that this should affect ECB policy.

In the vault.

In the vault.

Photographer: Pierre VAUTHEY/Sygma

Would you pay a bank for the privilege of holding your money? This is a question that wealthy savers are having to ask themselves as lenders start passing negative interest rates onto their biggest account holders. The Swiss banks UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse AG are in the vanguard of these moves, as you might expect given their focus on rich customers.

This practice may be unusual, but these are strange economic times. Central bankers shouldn’t let such moves stop them from pursuing whatever monetary policy they see fit; and they should ignore fears that negative rates may amount to a form of expropriation from savers.