October 31, 2019 / 4:53 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Swiss National Bank rules out central bank cash to help pension funds

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BERN, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Swiss National Bank (SNB) Chairman Thomas Jordan on Thursday dismissed suggestions the central bank should give some of its profits to struggling pension funds, saying this would impair its ability to conduct monetary policy.

The huge size of the SNB’s balance sheet also made its profits and losses subject to massive swings, Jordan told an event in Bern, meaning payments from the central bank not a sustainable solution to the shortfall in pension funds.

“We can make a big profit, but then it can disappear overnight,” Jordan said. Payouts “would hinder a sensible monetary policy and our goal of price stability,” he added.

The SNB operated in the best interests of all of Switzerland, the central bank chairman said, while it was up to politicians to decide what to do with the money it paid the government and cantons as a dividend.

The Swiss franc remains highly valued, he added, with the SNB committed to its policy of relieving appreciation pressure on the franc through foreign currency interventions and negative interest rates.

“We want to continue our policy to reduce the pressure on the franc,” Jordan said. (Reporting by John Revill; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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