Swiss voters rejected a radical move to reform banking
- Swiss voters have rejected a radical reform of their banking system, which would have moved control of money creation from private to public hands.
- The Vollgeld reform was vetoed in a referendum on Sunday by a vote of 76% opposed.
- Executive bankers and other opponents have expressed relief after calling the attempts at reform a “reckless experiment.”
Swiss voters have rejected a referendum proposal that sought to bring an end to fractional reserve banking.
The Vollgeld (Sovereign Money) reform was defeated on Sunday by a vote of 76% against. It proposed to bring money creation under control of a public body, rather than private banks.
The referendum has gained international attention because of its potential to radically overturn the globally accepted monetary system in a country that is famous for banking.
Critics said that it was a “reckless experiment” which would put the Swiss economy at risk, but backers argued the reform was needed to guard against another financial crisis like 2008.
The initiative was part of the International Movement for Monetary Reform which was created by UK lobbying organisation Positive Money in 2013.
After the vote, Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money said: “Though the Swiss rejected this particular Sovereign Money proposal in today’s referendum, the debate has sparked a much needed debate on the fundamentals of money, and who should have the power to create and distribute it.”
Adding: “This vote should not represent the end, but rather the beginning of a global conversation about whether control of money creation should be in private or public hands.
The vote was called after a petition gained 100,000 signatures which is the amount legally needed to hold a plebiscite in Switzerland. Polls in the lead up to the election estimated that one third of the population supported the reform, revealing an erosion of popularity for the proposals before the vote.
Executives of major banks and other opponents expressed relief at the result.
“The result of the popular vote shows that the Swiss electorate appreciates the existing, stable and high-performing economic and monetary system and doesn’t want to put this at risk by subjecting it to a reckless experiment,” said Herbert Scheidt, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association in a statement.
The Swiss Franc dropped nearly 0.3% against the euro on Monday morning.
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