Bank lobby group demands end to negative interest rates

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) says negative interest rates are contributing to financial and economic instability in Switzerland. The central bank, which has set rates at -0.75%, is due to review its policy on September 19. SBA Chairman Herbert Scheidt said on Thursday that a normalisation of interest rates “appears a long way off”. “Unfortunately, the societal, structural and long-term damages will become even greater the longer we find ourselves in this ‘lower forever’ environment,” he told the media. Banks are suffering from having to pay for the privilege of parking assets at the Swiss National Bank (SNB), to the tune of CHF2 billion ($2 billion) per year. Banks have been forced to pass on some of this penalty onto corporate and wealthy clients. By contrast, interest rates in the United States remain in positive territory while European banks benefit from “targeted longer-term refinancing operations”. These are loans issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) to ...
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