The Swiss Franc, represented as CHF, is the official currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The Swiss National Bank (SNB), the country's central bank, issues and manages it.
The Swiss Franc was first introduced in 1850 as part of the Federal Coinage Act to standardize and simplify the multitude of coins in circulation. Since then, the CHF has gained a reputation as a "safe haven" currency due to Switzerland's political and economic stability.
Exchange rate regime:Floating
The economic performance of Switzerland and the Eurozone has a direct impact on the EUR/CHF exchange rate. Events such as changes in monetary policy by the Swiss National Bank or the European Central Bank can cause fluctuations in this pair.
T; T+1; T+2
Switzerland's Monetary Policy
The Swiss National Bank conducts an independent monetary policy guided by the interests of the country as a whole. Its primary goal is to ensure price stability, defined as a rise in the national consumer price index (CPI) of less than 2% per year.
The SNB implements its monetary policy by influencing market interest rates, and it can also intervene directly in the foreign exchange market if necessary to influence the exchange rate of the CHF.
Key Features of CHF
The Swiss Franc is divided into 100 centimes (or rappen in German). Coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes, and 1, 2, and 5 francs. Banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1,000 francs.
Swiss banknotes are unique in their vertical design, and each denomination depicts a distinct theme of Swiss culture.
The Swiss Franc is known for its stability, earning it the status of a "safe-haven" currency. Investors often turn to the CHF in times of economic uncertainty.
However, this can lead to challenges for the Swiss economy, as a strong CHF can make Swiss exports more expensive and hamper economic growth. The SNB has been known to intervene in the foreign exchange market to prevent excessive appreciation of the CHF.
The Swiss National Bank regulates the CHF, controlling monetary policy, ensuring the stability of the financial system, and providing secure, quality banknotes.
Financial institutions in Switzerland must comply with the SNB's regulatory requirements and the regulations set by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), including robust Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures.
Key considerations to bear in mind
Payment instructions should contain the beneficiary's IBAN, name, and address.
Payment Processing Time
The time taken for a payment to reach the recipient's bank account can vary. Domestic transfers within Switzerland are typically processed quickly, while international transfers may take a few business days. Consider the processing time when planning your payment to ensure timely delivery. The iBanFirst Payment Tracker can help you track those payments, and ensure a smooth and efficient payment experience.
Fees and Charges
Banks and financial institutions may apply fees and charges when processing international payments. These fees can vary, so it is advisable to check with your bank to understand the charges associated with your transaction. Check out iBanFirst’s iBanFirst Payment TrackerSavings Calculator to estimate how much you could save on your next international payment.
New Year's Day
Swiss National Day
St. Stephen's Day
Varies - Friday before Easter Sunday
Varies - Monday after Easter Sunday
Varies - 40 days after Easter
Varies - 7 weeks after Easter
iBanFirst S.A. is duly authorised and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium (under CBE number 0849.872.824) as a payment institution. It is a direct member of the SWIFT network and is certified to make payments throughout the SEPA zone. As a payment institution, iBanFirst S.A. only offers hedging solutions (forward, flexible forward and dynamic forward) connected to underlying payment transactions. iBanFirst S.A. does not offer options or any other financial instruments for investment or speculative purposes.