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The Swiss National Bank's decision to calculate the threshold for the exemption from negative rates on banks' reserves on a monthly basis from September 2019 led to a more than 40% increase in exemptions, a working paper published by the SNB claims, equivalent to a drop in negative interest rate payment of around CHF 875 million per year.
Banks that experienced a greater rise in the exemption threshold were seen to increase their SNB holdings, the study found, funded by increased interbank borrowing and customer deposits. However, the effects on bank lending behaviour were moderate: "If anything," the paper concluded, "banks that benefit from a larger increase in the exemption threshold tend to charge higher spreads and take less risk."