SNB makes loss in 2013

<p>The falling value of gold has damaged Swiss National Bank’s finances.</p>

Swiss National Bank (SNB) has confirmed it made a loss in 2013, with the falling value of gold among the reasons for the bank's financial difficulties in the year.

SNB confirmed a loss of CHF 9 billion (£6.04 billion) for the 2013 financial year after its gold holdings slipped in value by CHF 15 billion.

Gold's price dropped by around a third over the course of last year and this has caused issues for pawnbrokers such as Albemarle and Bond as well as SNB. Gold's performance in 2013 was therefore the worst annual drop in 30 years.

A statement from the SNB said: "As this loss will be substantially larger than the CHF 5.3 billion in the distribution reserve, the SNB cannot make a profit distribution, as stipulated in the National Bank Act and the profit distribution agreement between the Federal Department of Finance and the SNB."

SNB added that a detailed report on the annual result, which it noted will contain definitive figures, is due to be released on March 7th, while the annual report will follow on the 25th.

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