ZURICH (Reuters) -The Swiss National Bank said it would not alter its monetary policy despite Switzerland’s being named a currency manipulator by the United States Treasury on Wednesday, adding the central bank remained willing to act aggressively on forex markets.
“The SNB’s monetary policy approach remains unchanged by the report,” the SNB said in a statement. “In light of the economic situation and the fact that the Swiss franc is still highly valued, the SNB remains willing to intervene more strongly in the foreign exchange market.”
The SNB rejected the label that Switzerland was a currency manipulator, saying its interventions were not intended to gain unfair trading advantage for the country’s exporters or twist its balance of payments.
“Foreign exchange market interventions are necessary in Switzerland’s monetary policy to ensure appropriate monetary conditions and therefore price stability,” the SNB said.
The SNB has stepped up its forex interventions this year, spending 90 billion Swiss francs ($101.72 billion) in the first half to rein in the franc, but the central bank has argued this is to prevent the “highly valued” currency from triggering deflation.
Officials from the Swiss government and the SNB are in contact with U.S. counterparts to explain the situation, the SNB added.
The central bank is due to give its latest monetary policy update on Thursday, where it is expected to reiterate its commitment to negative interest rates and currency market interventions.
($1 = 0.8848 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)