Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

© Reuters. PHOTO OF THE FILE: The President of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Thomas Jordan, addresses a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, on June 17, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – The president of the Swiss National Bank, Thomas Jordan, could be out of action for several weeks while recovering from a heart operation over the weekend, a source told Reuters, a situation that could see losing the next decision on the central bank interest rate.

Jordan had to undergo an urgent medical procedure over the weekend, which proved necessary after a check-up, the SNB said on Monday.

The 58-year-old man, the SNB’s ultra-expansive monetary policy architect for the past six years, is still in hospital and is not expected to return to work for several weeks while suffering from heart disease. , the person familiar with the matter.

It is unclear whether he will return in time for the next SNB monetary policy assessment on 23 September.

At the start of trading, the Swiss franc confirmed slightly against the euro, reaching 1.0734 against the single currency.

“The operation was successful and Thomas Jordan is in good condition,” the SNB (S 🙂 said in a statement. “He will be able to devote himself entirely to the official business of the SNB after the medically recommended convalescence period,” he added.

Jordan has been the president of the SNB since 2012 and last year was appointed for another term until 2027.

Until his return, members of the governing board Fritz Zurbrüegg and Andrea Maechler, along with their deputies, will deal with the affairs of the bank, the SNB said.

Economists expect the SNB to maintain its policy of using the world’s lowest interest rates of 0.75% and its willingness to intervene in foreign exchange markets to avoid appreciation pressure on the Swiss franc.

Apart from having been a little more active in the foreign exchange markets in recent weeks, the SNB has shown few signs of deviating from the current policy since it suddenly stopped linking the franc with the euro on January 2015.

“We do not expect any change in the SNB’s monetary policy because of this,” said Karsten Junius, economist at J.Safra Sarasin. “I would like to wish Mr. Jordan the best and I have no doubt that the SNB continues to function perfectly in his long-awaited short absence.”

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