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March 2, 2024

Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan Announces Early Departure After 12 Years Amid Turbulence

Thomas Jordan, the Chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), has revealed his decision to step down in September, three years earlier than planned, marking the conclusion of his eventful 12-year tenure. Jordan’s leadership at the SNB has been characterized by numerous challenges, including the collapse of Credit Suisse and currency volatility.

Announcing his departure at a press conference, Jordan cited the perpetual crises faced by the SNB during his tenure, stating, “Since I was elected to the board on May 1, 2007, there has been virtually no quiet period. One crisis has followed the next.” Despite successfully managing inflation, Jordan faced criticism for the SNB’s handling of the Credit Suisse crisis.

While speculation surrounds potential successors, including Jordan’s deputy Martin Schlegel and former SNB board member Andrea Maechler, Jordan emphasized that his decision was not influenced by the Credit Suisse episode or governance critiques. He declined to comment on whether a woman should replace him, leaving the decision to the SNB’s supervising bank council.

Although Jordan’s departure comes ahead of schedule, his successor will be nominated through the conventional process, ensuring continuity in the SNB’s leadership. Jordan assured that his health was not a factor in his decision, emphasizing his commitment to the SNB until his departure in September.

The announcement of Jordan’s resignation impacted currency markets, with the Swiss franc easing against the euro. Praised as a diligent technocrat, Jordan’s tenure witnessed pivotal decisions, including the abolition of the minimum exchange rate against the euro in 2015.

Despite criticism over the SNB’s handling of the Credit Suisse crisis, economists recognize Jordan’s successful stewardship. Known for his unorthodox methods, such as introducing negative interest rates, Jordan’s departure marks the end of an era at the SNB.

Barbara Janom Steiner, SNB Bank Council President, expressed regret over Jordan’s decision, acknowledging his significant influence on the SNB’s monetary policy. Economists anticipate continuity in the SNB’s approach, given Jordan’s lasting impact on the central bank’s operations.

In conclusion, Thomas Jordan’s early departure from the SNB signals a transition period for the central bank, prompting speculation over his successor and reflecting on his influential tenure amid financial turbulence.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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