The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is the central bank of Switzerland. It is responsible for Swiss monetary policy and for issuing Swiss franc banknotes.
The Swiss National Bank conducts the country’s monetary policy as an independent central bank. It is obliged by the Constitution and by statute to act in accordance with the interests of the country as a whole. Its primary goal is to ensure price stability, while taking due account of economic developments. In so doing, it creates an appropriate environment for economic growth.
The SNB is an Aktiengesellschaft under special regulations. About 55% of its shares are owned by public institutions like cantons and cantonal banks. The remaining shares are traded on the stock market. They are mostly owned by private individuals. The Swiss Confederation does not hold any shares.
The SNB has two head offices: one in Berne and one in Zurich. In addition, it maintains a branch with cash distribution services in Geneva and five representative offices (in Basel, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano and St Gallen). Furthermore, it has 16 agencies operated by cantonal banks that help to secure the supply of money to the country.
The SNB's assets essentially consist of foreign exchange and gold reserves as well as financial assets in Swiss francs (securities and claims from repo transactions). They represent a part of Switzerland's national wealth and perform important monetary policy functions.
The SNB’s own Investment Policy GuidelinesInvestment Policy Guidelines define the scope for its investments and for the investment and risk management process.