Swiss central bank chief resigns after scandal

Swiss National Bank chairman Philipp Hildebrand has resigned with immediate effect in light of a controversial currency trade made by his wife last August.

The Swiss central bank said Hildebrand would make a statement at 14:15 GMT as well as making “a number of documents” available. The Swiss franc strengthened against the euro to a 4-month high of €1.2108 on the news.

The central bank chief had been under pressure after an anonymous whistleblower revealed that his wife, a former hedge fund trader, bought CHF400,000 worth of US dollars on 15 August last year.

The trade came just three weeks before the SNB announced it would cap the franc at €1.20. Safe haven flows meant the franc had been moving nearer parity with the euro last summer, to the detriment of the Swiss economy.

Kashya Hildebrand made a reported profit of CHF40,000 in buying what she called the “almost ridiculously cheap” dollars. Philipp Hildebrand has denied he had authorised his wife’s trade.

The central banker had been due to be grilled by Swiss MPs today, and had previously said he had no intention of resigning as a result of the scandal.

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

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