October 12, 2018 / 5:09 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-SNB's Jordan: Central banks should not be cowed by politics

(Adds quotes, detail)

ZURICH, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan on Friday defended the independence of central banks, saying they should not be cowed by political pressure after U.S. President Donald Trump called the Federal Reserve “crazy” for hiking interest rates.

“There are always political statements about central banks, not just in America but also in other countries,” Jordan told Swiss radio in an interview from Indonesia, where he is attending an International Monetary Fund and World Bank meeting on the island of Bali.

“Central banks have independence, either through the constitution or the law, and they have to have the strength to live out this independence and not let themselves be intimidated,” Jordan added.

It is appropriate for the SNB to leave Switzerland’s ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, Jordan added, as he saw no signs of economic “overheating’ that could spark inflation.

To tamp down the value of the Swiss franc, the SNB has instituted long-term negative interest rates, and Jordan said the bank remained ready to intervene in currency markets, if necessary. (Reporting by John Miller Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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