Swiss National Bank Chairman Philipp Hildebrand said he saw no reason to resign over a controversial currency transaction done by his wife, which prompted speculation she had benefited from privileged information.
The transaction took place on August 15, three weeks before the SNB imposed a cap on the safe-haven Swiss franc of 1.20 per euro.
Following are his comments at a news conference on the issue.
So long as I have the confidence of the government and the bank council, stepping down is not an issue for me.
NO BREACH OF THE LAW
I have at all times time conducted myself not only as the regulations require but also correctly. I am not aware of any legal breaches. But I understand that the public also asks moral questions.
The rules of the SNB on own trading is equal to the European standards.
TRADE ORDERED BY WIFE ALONE
It's very clear that this transaction was ordered by my wife and there's an email to prove it.
SECRECY BREACHED FOR POLITICAL GOALS
I'm sorry that circles, which for years have been vehement proponents of Swiss bank secrecy, are willing to accept gross breaches of banking secrecy in their pursuit of political goals.
NOT SURPRISED BY WIFE'S TRANSACTION
My wife is a strong character.
She repeatedly talked about how low the dollar is and that we probably should buy more. When I saw the transaction I wasn't totally surprised.
What I also accuse myself of is that either I should have reversed the transaction or even told her not to discuss this.
My wife has very strong opinions and is very interested in global financial markets.
MORE TRANSPARENCY NEEDED
I understand that some of the transactions now discussed and the way in which they have been portrayed and interpreted in the media and in public could bring my integrity into doubt.
The most important lesson, which I can take from the events is: a further improvement of transparency in every aspect that concerns financial transactions of members of the board of the Swiss National Bank is essential.
If you look back, there was no good reason not to do this. (on why internal rules not publicly available)
We waited until we knew the whole story from all vantage points... in the past two days we've largely been able to complete the puzzle.
These blind trusts (which would be the optimal solution) are currently not really possibly in Switzerland for legal reasons.
(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Compiled by London Treasury Desk)