* Swiss govt expected to confirm Jordan as new SNB boss
* Ex-boss Roth: Hildebrand "error of judgement" was serious
* SNB council starts search for new board member on Tuesday
* Upheaval not seen affecting monetary policy
By Catherine Bosley
ZURICH, Jan 10 The Swiss National Bank
starts the search for a new board member on Tuesday after the
resignation of Philipp Hildebrand as chairman over a
controversial currency trade made by his wife.
Hildebrand's wife Kashya, a former hedge fund trader who now
runs a Zurich art gallery, bought 400,000 Swiss francs
($418,000) worth of dollars on Aug. 15, three weeks before her
husband oversaw steps to cap the rise of the safe-haven franc.
She later sold the dollars at a higher rate.
Jean-Pierre Roth, the former SNB chairman who handed over to
Hildebrand two years ago, said his successor should have
reversed the trade as soon as he became aware of it.
"He knew that several days later he would change monetary
policy which would affect the franc exchange rate," Roth told
daily Le Temps. "He made a serious error of judgement
unfortunately and today he must pay the consequences.
"In a very difficult economic and monetary environment, the
credibility of the SNB has been hurt, the bank is weakened."
Emails between Kashya, Hildebrand and their Sarasin bank
client advisor Felix Scheuber released by the SNB on Monday
showed the central banker had been aware of the dollar
transaction but left it unclear whether he had approved it.
After examining the email exchange, the SNB's advisory
council indicated to Hildebrand on Saturday that his position
was no longer tenable, Swiss newspapers reported on Tuesday.
JORDAN SEEN AS A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS
The SNB's supervisory council said on Monday Vice Chairman
Thomas Jordan, who joined the SNB in 1997, would take over as
chairman for the time being, with the government expected to
confirm him soon in the postion permanently.
Jordan, who enjoys a solid reputation, heads the SNB's
regulatory department, which is pushing for flagship banks UBS
and Credit Suisse to firm up their balance sheets.