Financial crisis hits Swiss balance of payments hard

The Swiss National Bank says bank losses reduced Switzerland's surplus last year to two per cent of gross domestic product, one quarter what it was in 2007.

This content was published on August 13, 2009 minutes

The current account surplus fell to SFr13 billion ($12.1 billion) from SFr52 billion the previous year.

In a statement on its 2008 balance of payments, the central bank said that excluding the banks' losses the current account surplus would have been close to the 2007 figure.

The bank also announced that it had sold 105 tonnes of gold to private investors for SFr3 billion, completing a planned sale of a total of 250 tonnes.

It also announced that investment income in Switzerland exceeded investment income abroad by SFr25 billion. It was the first time Switzerland had a negative investment income since 1947, when current accounts statistics were first compiled.

"This extraordinary and unprecedented development was attributable to the losses incurred by the banks' foreign subsidiaries," the bank said. and agencies

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