SWITZERLAND - Swiss households' savings in Pensionskassen and insurances grew only half as much as in 2007 than in the year before, according to the Swiss National Bank (SNB).

Assets in the second pillar and insurances grew by CHF20bn (€13.14bn) to CHF812.9bn compared to a CHF38bn growth the year before, the latest SNB statistics revealed.

The increase was mainly "down to contributions to occupational pensions", the SNB noted.

At least 80% of these assets are in Pensionskassen, which remain the largest part of households' savings with around 40%.

Pensionskassen lost CHF1.8m last year - the first losses sustained since 2001 and 2002 when the second pillar lost CHF38bn each.

On contrast, the second pillar had gained CHF16.3bn in 2006.

The only investment among cash, bank savings, bonds, second pillar savings and equities was the latter.

Equity holdings of households declined by CHF9bn to CHF253bn "as the number of sales was higher than the number of purchases", the SNB also stated.

In total, Swiss households' assets grew by CHF24bn to CHF1.3trn - a much slower growth than in 2006 when the SNB reported a plus of CHF106bn in savings.

"The net financial assets per capita was at CHF171,000 by year-end 2007."

While households saw gains from their assets of CHF73bn in 2006, the year after they saw losses of CHF9bn.

"The weaker growth of net assets is down to the development of the stock markets and exchange courses."