1 The Initiative demands the following: (1) The Swiss National Bank (SNB) shall be prohibited from selling any of its gold reserves; (2) the SNB's gold reserves must be stored in Switzerland; and (3) the SNB must keep at least 20 percent of its assets in gold (i.e., the "20-percent rule").
The balance sheet of the SNB currently amounts to 522.3bn CHF (Swiss francs), with its gold holdings and claims from gold transactions amounting to 39.4bn CHF. The share of gold of the SNB's assets is therefore about 7.5 percent — substantially lower than what the Initiative calls for.
If the referendum is successful, that is, if the Initiative is adopted, the SNB will have to increase its gold holdings relative to its total assets. This can be done in two ways:
If the balance sheet of the SNB remains as swollen as it currently is (due to purchases of foreign currency made in recent years), the SNB would have to buy additional gold worth the equivalent of around 65bn CHF.