Popular initiative ‘For crisis-safe money: Money creation by the National Bank only! (Sovereign Money Initiative)’

On 10 Juni 2018, the Swiss electorate voted on the Popular initiative ‘For crisis-safe money: Money creation by the National Bank only! (Sovereign Money Initiative)’.

Gaetan Bally - Keystone

The Sovereign Money Initiative was conceived in response to the global financial crisis of 2008 and growing levels of private and public debt in many countries.

The group behind the initiative regard money creation by banks as one of the main causes of financial crises. The aim of the initiative is to give the Swiss National Bank (SNB) sole responsibility for creating all money, both cash and book money in bank accounts. This means that commercial banks will no longer be able to create money by granting loans. In addition, the SNB should bring newly created money into circulation free of any debt, i.e. without receiving any consideration in return, by distributing it directly to the federal government, the cantons or ordinary people. This sovereign money system is intended to make money held by bank customers in their accounts more secure and prevent further financial crises. 

The Federal Council and Parliament are against the initiative. They argue that a sovereign money system cannot guarantee financial stability. There is no precedent in any other country for a system of this type. It would represent a radical departure from the current monetary system, which functions well. It would weaken the financial sector, to the detriment of bank customers. The initiative would also give the SNB an undesirable level of power and place the SNB under increased political pressure to finance public expenditure. The Federal Council has already taken effective
measures to improve financial stability.


Who is entitled to vote? Where and how to vote?

Last modification 05.06.2018

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