Switzerland: National Bank to screen shares on ethical grounds
Date: 20 Jan 2014
The Swiss National Bank has said that it will sell shares in companies that fall short on ethics, including those that are responsible for human rights abuses or significant damage to the environment.
The Bank's current portfolio includes arms manufacturers and others that have been the target for criticism based on social or environmental performance. It has not yet confirmed which companies will be caught by the new exclusion clause.
Two years ago, the Bank was forced to publish its own central banker's code of ethics after the wife of the chairman bought "ridiculously cheap" US dollars - creating a scandal which forced the then chairman to resign his position.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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