Central bank comes under parliamentary scrutiny

The embattled head of the Swiss National Bank, Philipp Hildebrand, is facing a parliamentary committee over controversial private currency deals.

This content was published on January 9, 2012 - 12:10

The committee will hear Hildebrand at its regular meeting on Monday, as well as the president of the SNB board, Hansueli Raggenbass, and the finance minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, according to officials.

Hildebrand argued the currency transactions were carried out by his wife without his explicit consent, and they did not breach any regulations.

The government has repeatedly backed Hildebrand and Widmer-Schlumpf has called for a thorough investigation.

The SNB board on Saturday announced a tightening of internal rules concerning private currency deals.

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party has demanded that Hildebrand quit, and wants to see a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry and a special session of parliament.

No other major party supports the calls. However, the bank board has been criticised for apparently neglecting its role as supervisory authority.

The controversy was triggered by an employee of a commercial bank last month. He copied documents which ended up in the hands of senior members of the People’s Party.

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