On his blog, Urs Birchler offers different perspectives on the question whether the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is obliged to pay out banks’ reserves in cash.
- One view: Reserves are legal tender. The SNB therefore is not obliged to exchange reserves against cash.
- Another view: According to the law, the SNB is required to provide sufficient cash. Moreover, reserves and cash were meant to be perfect substitutes.
- Yet another view: Lawmakers would have written a different law had they known that the SNB considers it necessary to impose negative interest rates.