In case you haven’t heard the big news yet: our sister organisation in Switzerland, MoMo, handed in nearly 112,000 valid signatures for the Sovereign Money Initiative on 1st December, meaning there will be a national referendum on Sovereign Money (‘Vollgeld’ in German) in Switzerland in the next few years.
The press release in English is here – this press release also has links to more documents about the Vollgeld-Initiative in English.
On 1st December the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) published a statement as a response to the Sovereign Money Initiative. SBA firmly rejects the Initiative, claiming, amongst other things, it would put the “prosperity of Switzerland at risk”. Here you can read their statement.
MoMo have written a detailed (9-page) response answering the misinformation and scare tactics of theirs! This hasn’t been translated into English, but is summarised as follows:
The criticism of the Swiss Bankers Association is baseless: The credit supply will remain secure with the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative. There is also no direct impact on interest rates. Only the creation of money is transferred to the Swiss National Bank; lending to companies, private individuals and the state remains as it was: exclusively with the banks.
With a closer look at the statement of the Swiss Bankers Association, the criticisms dissolve away. It’s a mix between ignorance of the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative, misinformation and scare tactics. This reaction is understandable taking account of the fact that the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative wants to abolish the distortive privilege of money creation by banks. Of course, the profiteers of this hidden state subsidy defend themselves against it.
The statement by Philipp Hildebrand, Vice-Chief of the US financial giant BlackRock and former president of the Swiss National Bank in the Spiegel on 23 November 2015 is relevant: “I have learned in recent years that one should not always listen to the whining of the banking lobby.”
The Swiss Bankers Association mainly represents the interests of the big banks. The smaller and medium-sized banks do not feel represented by the Swiss Bankers Association, as a survey showed: to the question “Do you, the regional banks, feel represented by the Swiss Bankers Association?” more than 90% of the Directors voted “No”.
The full version in German is here.