© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in Bern, Switzerland, October 11, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has sold most of its Russia-related assets and sees only limited risk for the Swiss financial sector from the war in Ukraine, its chairman said on Thursday.
“We had a very small amount of assets related to Russia. In the meantime, we could sell most of those assets so that the exposure to Russia-related assets is close to zero,” Thomas Jordan told reporters on a call following the central bank’s decision to keep rates on hold.
He also said he did not believe the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a problem for the stability of Switzerland’s financial sector.
“The exposure of the Swiss financial sector to Russia is rather limited so the war itself has only a limited impact on banks or financial institutions in Switzerland,” Jordan said.
If the war changed the global economy completely, there could be a negative impact on Switzerland, but so far the impact was “very small, very limited”.
Jordan said the SNB did not have a business relationship with the Russian central bank and did not hold rouble reserves.
“I assume that the commercial banks would mostly be responsible if the situation made it necessary to provide roubles to the economy, not the central bank,” he said in answer to a question.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia, the world’s largest natural gas producer, would soon require “unfriendly” countries including Switzerland to pay for gas in the country’s currency, the rouble.
Swiss National Bank says it has sold most of its Russia-related assets
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