The “Swiss Surprise” refers to an event that occurred in the foreign exchange (forex) market on January 15, 2015, when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly removed the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro. The peg had been in place since 2011, and it meant that the Swiss franc was fixed to the euro at a rate of 1.20 francs per euro.
The SNB’s decision to remove the peg caused a sudden and extreme appreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro and other currencies. This caught many market participants off guard and led to significant losses for some traders, banks, and other financial institutions.
The move was described as a “surprise” because the SNB had previously indicated that it would maintain the peg and had intervened in the market to defend it. The decision to remove the peg was seen as a response to the European Central Bank’s announcement of a large-scale bond-buying program, which was expected to put downward pressure on the euro.
Overall, the “Swiss Surprise” was a significant event in the forex market, and it highlighted the risks associated with trading currencies and the importance of closely monitoring central bank policy and announcements.