Thomas Jordan has been formally named Wednesday as the new Chairman of the Swiss National Bank after several months at the helm of the nation's central financial institution.
Mr. Jordan's first task will be to communicate the extent to which the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is prepared to defend its self-imposed "cap" of 1.20 franc against the euro. The Eurozone's sovereign debt crisis has increased demand for Swiss assets, increasing the value of the franc and harming exports. The cap, first announced on 6 September of last year, was breached, albiet briefly, on two occasisons this month.
"It's clear that I stand for continuity," Mr. Jordan said at a press conference Wednesday. "This minimum on euro-Swiss is absolutely essential. The whole governing board is fully behind this limit". He did not, however, answer questions as to whether the cap might be adjusted to allow for a weaker franc or if the current 1.20 cap was the most appropriate.
Jordan's tenure follows that of Philipp Hilderbrand, who was forced to resign his postion in the wake of a controversy involving his wife, Kashya, and her purchase of around $500,000 US dollars shortly before the SNB introduced the Swiss franc cap. Mr. Jordan joined the SNB in 1997 and was appointed to its three-member directorate ten years later. He became vice chairman of the Bank in 2010.