May 30, 2018 / 5:33 AM / in 5 months

Swiss voters set to shoot down sovereign money campaign - poll

ZURICH (Reuters) - A radical “sovereign money” plan that would upend Switzerland’s traditional monetary system is headed for defeat in a referendum next month as opposition including from the Swiss central bank mounts, a poll showed on Wednesday.

A member of the sovereign money initiative, a referendum campaign that would abolish traditional bank lending and allow only money created by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), offers flyers to travellers at the central railway station in Zurich, Switzerland May 3, 2018. The poster reads, "Who should produce our money? Sovereign money yes - Swiss francs from National Bank only". REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The survey by the gfs.bern polling outfit found 54 percent of respondents opposed the plan, while 34 percent were in favour and 12 percent were undecided or had no opinion.

A previous gfs poll released on May 4 had put opposition at 49 percent and support at 35 percent.

The sovereign money campaign, which has gathered more than the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a binding referendum under the Swiss system of direct democracy, would bar commercial banks from “creating” new electronic money every time they extend credit.

Only the Swiss central bank would be allowed to increase the money supply.

Switzerland risks being plunged into an “unnecessary and dangerous experiment” if it adopts the scheme on June 10, Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan has warned. Parliament and the government also oppose the unprecedented idea.

The poll conducted from May 15 to 23 surveyed 1,411 people and had a margin of error of 2.7 points.

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Miller

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