SNB's Zurbruegg sees rates rising eventually, no negative rates

ZURICH Tue Feb 5, 2013 8:26am EST

ZURICH Feb 5 (Reuters) - Swiss National Bank board member Fritz Zurbruegg expects interest rates to start moving up again once economic growth recovers, ruling out a move into negative rates.

"We will be moving up as soon as economic fundamentals come to bear," Zurbruegg told a conference in Zurich. "Once we get economic growth going we're going to see things normalise."

"This upturn could take a bit longer than some people would wish," he said, noting that there were still significant output gaps in large economies. "We do not see imminent inflation pressures despite very large liquidity in the system."

Zurbruegg added that negative rates were "definitely not on the cards" in Switzerland even after UBS and Credit Suisse said in December they would levy temporary fees and negative interest rates on other banks holding franc deposits.

The SNB kept rates at rock-bottom levels at its last monetary policy meeting in December, stressing its priority is to prevent the Swiss franc from appreciating after it capped the safe-haven currency at 1.20 francs per euro in 2011.

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