Economic Affairs: Negative interest rates and yields hurt more than they help, says UBS chairman

Poor returns from fixed income investments are driving investors into alternatives such as private equity and real estate

Additional interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank (ECB) deeper into negative territory are unlikely to be effective, says Dr Axel Weber, chairman of the world's largest private bank, UBS. Negative interest rates and negative bond yields in a world of growing uncertainty are also creating problems for banks, investors and the pension industry.

"Negative rates are a bit like medication," he tells The Straits Times in an exclusive interview. "The effects of a medication, taken over a long time, become less visible, while the side effects become more prominent. What we're now seeing in some countries is that those side effects are starting to show."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2019, with the headline 'Negative interest rates and yields hurt more than they help: UBS chairman'. Print Edition | Subscribe