Swiss National Bank (SNB)

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is the central bank of Switzerland. It conducts the country’s monetary policy and issues Swiss franc banknotes.

It is obliged by the Swiss Constitution and by statute to act in accordance with the interests of the country as a whole. Its primary goal is to ensure price stability, while taking account of economic developments.

The names of the institution in the four official languages of the country are:

  • German: Schweizerische Nationalbank;
  • French: Banque Nationale Suisse;
  • Italian: Banca Nazionale Svizzera;
  • Romansh: Banca Naziunala Svizra.

The SNB has two head offices: one in Berne and one in Zurich.

The Swiss National Bank has a history of intervening in the markets. The relatively small dimensions of the Swiss economy and the credibility of SNB made possible some interventions during the subprime crisis and in 2011 when the SNB decided to peg the Swiss Franc with the Euro. These types of interventions are more difficult for larger countries such as Japan, who had similar problems of over-valuation of their national currency.