Switzerland hikes rates despite bank turmoil

STORY: Switzerland has endured a week of turmoil over its banks.

That after the dramatic weekend rescue of troubled Credit Suisse by local rival UBS.

But that hasn’t deterred the country’s central bank from raising rates.

On Thursday (March 23) the Swiss National Bank lifted its benchmark rate by another half a percentage point.

That was its fourth hike in succession, and policymakers said more increases could not be ruled out as part of the battle against inflation.

The move follows the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quarter-point raise a day earlier.

And it matches the move by the European Central Bank last week.

But it comes as central banks face tough decisions over how to avoid stoking the turmoil for lenders.

Many analysts say swiftly rising rates are a key driver in the troubles for banks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Among other factors, higher rates cut the value of bonds, which form a big chunk of bank balance sheets.

For now though, it seems the fight against inflation outweighs all such concerns.