Financial stability in the context of low interest rates

Dr. Fritz Zurbrügg
Dr. Fritz Zurbrügg

Institutional Communication Service

18 April 2017

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, the term "macroprudential policy" - indicating the measures to deal directly and promptly the question of systemic risk present in the financial system - became popular in the area of financial regulation. In his speech, the vice president of the SNB will discuss the reasons behind these measures and explain why a robust macroprudential framework is particularly important in a context of low interest rates. A context, in fact, that tends to create incentives for risk, stimulate credit growth and rising asset prices. The analysis presented by Dr. Zurbrügg draws mainly on the recent experience in Switzerland and provides a current assessment of the stability of the Swiss banking system.

Fritz Zurbrügg (Zurich, 1960) studied economics at the University of Berne, completing his degree in 1985 and his doctorate in 1989. Also in 1989, Fritz Zurbrügg joined the Federal Finance Administration (FFA) in Berne. From 1992 to 1994, he worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington as an economist in the Africa Department, before returning to the FFA and assuming leadership of the ‘IMF and International Finance’ section. From 1998 to 2006, he was Senior Advisor and Executive Director for Switzerland at the IMF in Washington, and represented the interests of Switzerland as well as those of Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia/Montenegro, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the Executive Board. After returning to Berne, he headed the Fiscal Policy, Fiscal Equalisation and Financial Statistics section of the Federal Finance Administration. In April 2010, he was appointed Director of the Federal Finance Administration by the Federal Council. His responsibilities included drawing up the Confederation budget and financial plan, the implementation of the debt brake, as well as liquidity and debt management for the Confederation. He also represented Switzerland in domestic and international committees of experts on financial policy. Effective August 2012, the Federal Council appointed Fritz Zurbrügg as Member of the SNB’s Governing Board. At the same time, he became Head of Department III (Financial Markets, Banking Operations and Information Technology). With effect from 1 July 2015, the Federal Council appointed him Vice Chairman of the Governing Board. With this position, he also took over management of Department II (Financial Stability, Cash, Finance and Risk) in Berne.

The conference is public and is held in Italian.