It’s misery for savers big and small. Small-scale savers receive almost no interest on their savings and old-age pensions, and those with bigger sums are desperately searching for investment options. The same applies for Helvetia Insurance, which takes care of around 1.5 billion francs of new investment every year. Here it finds itself constrained in its range of options by a tight corset of regulations, and for two years now has even had to pay for secure investments. Back in January 2015 the Swiss National Bank surprised the world of finance by abandoning the cap on the franc’s value against the euro and introducing negative interest rates.
This situation, unedifying for savers, has been allowed to continue for some time, as Thomas Jordan, President of the Swiss National Bank, explained at the first “TheTalk@TheStudio” event hosted by Ringier and Helvetia Insurance. “We are still a long way from normalisation”, he said, talking to moderator Christine Maier. The many, primarily political uncertainties have meant that the National Bank has had to prepare various scenarios, he said, in order to be able to react immediately whatever the event. If necessary, interest rates could go even lower.
It’s not only for savers that the last few years have been challenging, but also for those in charge of monetary policy. “With many measures, we have been entering new territory”, Jordan reveals. Nevertheless, the state of the economy shows that the bank has been able to get to grips with these challenges successfully, he claims. Certainly there are still certain difficulties for many industries, such as retail, he goes on to say. Yet many have also been able to profit, for example thanks to cheaper imports or lower interest rates for the acquisition of residential properties. Just how small-scale savers should manage their old-age pensions in this situation is something Thomas Jordan explains in an exclusive video interview for Ringier and the Helvetia Blog.
Ringier and Helvetia Insurance launched a series of joint events by welcoming the President of the Swiss National Bank, Thomas Jordan. At these events hosts Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, and Dr Philipp Gmür, CEO of Helvetia, each invite around 70 guests to a talk at the Ringier press building, where presenter Christine Maier interviews a high-profile guest from the world of politics and business.