Of Special Interest
- Financial wellness affects half of peoples’ mental or physical health, finds report
- Study finds traditional financial institutions embrace Fintech disruption
- Grass is greener for environmentally friendly businesses, finds Barclays
- Prospective homeowners would consider a 40-year mortgage to escape renting, finds Santander
- Millennials’ needs are changing the face of banking industry, says new report
- FS is putting consumer data at risk by failing to protect mobile apps, says Arxan
- A lack of belief in their ability holds 28% women back in work, says Cambridge & Counties
- ‘Which?’ reveals Scotland has lost over a third of its bank branches in eight years
- Next downturn unlikely to be as bad as 2008, according to S&P
- FCA reveals findings from first cryptoassets consumer research
- US consumers favour single mobile app for banking and payments
- Banks suffering major IT shutdowns every day, ‘Which?’ reveals
- The US will be a key offshore centre in 2019, says GlobalData
- Debit industry changes markedly in 10 years of the Debit Issuer Study
- UK's ‘Big Five’ face ‘too big to compete’ as small challengers secure stellar returns
- Banks as vulnerable now as before crash, says new study
- Leverage ratio a constant conundrum for European and US banks, says SNL
6th January 2012
Swiss National Bank president controversy
Philipp Hildebrand, President of the Swiss National Bank, is at the centre of controversy following foreign exchange transactions allegedly carried out by his wife. Kashya Hildebrand is said to have bought US dollars just before the Swiss central bank stepped in to force the value of the Swiss Frank down and then shortly after switched the money back to Swiss Franks netting a CHF 60,000 (~€49,000 £41,000 $63,700 ¥4.9m 6 Y401,000) profit.
Kashya previously worked for Moore Capital, a hedge fund, and is therefore financially sophisticated - and the opportunity was one that many with spare cash took advantage of. However there are some complications with the story. First that in a TV interview Kashya said that she bought the dollars for her art gallery business as much of the business is transacted in dollars - and yet within a few days she had converted most back to Swiss Franks. A second, and if substantiated, much more serious problem comes from Weltwoche (The World Week) who claim evidence that it was Philipp who personally ordered the deals and not Kashya. They filled most of the front page with items on Hildebrand and why he should resign.
The incident further damages the Swiss approach to absolute bank secrecy. A Bank Sarasin employee leaked details of the transactions to a Swiss opposition party leader. He was fired and is likely to face criminal prosecution for breaking the bank secrecy laws. Weltwoche state its source as a lawyer representing a Bank Sarasin employee, widely assumed to be the same individual.