My name is John Power and I am the Director of the Bank’s Centre for Central Banking Studies. I am joined by Huw Pill, our recently appointed Chief Economist and today we are launching our international seminar programme for 2022. We’ll use the opportunity to reflect on this past (rather weird) year and set out our thinking for the future. We hope that by the end of our short message you will be sufficiently enthused to check out the rest of our website and sign up for our seminars.
Getting into the detail, I have three messages for you.
First, we continue to be open for business to central bankers and regulators from all over the world. As you know like everyone we have had to adapt our working model over the past 18 months. Here in CCBS our entire programme has moved to virtual. In our view that has proven transformational. For example, in September over 300 delegates registered for our event on climate scenario analysis and stress testing. Colleagues came from all four corners of the planet, with the countries present representing 80% of global carbon emissions. That was simply not possible in the old world. What’s more we’ve been able to make the material available to colleagues afterwards – allowing for further review and analysis.
Now virtual delivery is not be all and end all – it’s harder to have a fireside discussion with colleagues – to build those all so important personal connections, or provide a lot of tailored individual support. We completely recognise this and we should offer some physical activities in the future. But we do think that virtual should become an important part of our operating model even after the pandemic subsides. It makes good sense from an inclusion perspective. And frankly climate change considerations demand it.
For next year, I don’t have a particularly strong crystal ball with respect to the pandemic. So our conservative planning assumptions continue to be virtual, flipping to physical if circumstances allow and where it makes sense to do so for any particular event. Further out when we reach a new steady state we’re planning that that at least 50% of our programme will remain virtual.
My second point is about our mission and purpose, and here, I want to reassure you that, despite the operational changes, our mission remains unchanged – in fact it’s as relevant now as it ever was: we want to equip central bankers and financial regulators with the expert skills needed to deal with the challenges our community faces. And unashamedly we do this to promote global, economic and financial stability as well as UK development objectives.
So, in our programme you’ll continue to see a very broad offering across cutting-edge analytics; seminars on the current priorities and the hot topics that are high on our shared agenda, as well as more academically oriented research conferences at the frontier of our thinking. In the detail we’re thinking hard about things like how we analyse data using free-to-use software applications such as R; developments in central banks’ balances sheets in the new normal; the risks from the non‐bank financial sector – how we assess and manage them; the use of fintech in the world of payments supervision and regulation, new tools used in financial regulation. I could go on but the bottom line is that there is something here for everyone – importantly pitched at the expert rather than the introductory level.
Third, we are super keen to be informed by your views and frankly to be challenged by them. We are hugely grateful to our international speakers over the year for giving up their time so generously. My key message for you is that if you want to participate – particularly in our current priorities suite – please do let us know if you have an idea or an experience that you think our community should know about. Do not be shy on this front! This speaks to a wider aim we’ve got for CCBS to be a beacon for diversity and inclusion in all its forms.
Huw will speak more about this. Before I hand over to him, if you are interested in getting up to speed on central banking and financial regulation in a structured and comprehensive way, the Bank of England and Warwick Business School’s online master’s qualification in global central banking and financial regulation is also open for business. Many of our own people go through this programme. All the details are available on our website.
Huw welcome to the Bank and CCBS and over to you.
Thanks John. My name is Huw Pill, and I have recently been appointed to the role of Chief Economist here at the Bank of England. One of the great pleasures of that role is working with John and his colleagues at the Centre for Central Banking Studies. For more than three decades the CCBS has been at the forefront of developing, sharing and spreading cutting-edge research and analysis of central bank issues. I have been fortunate enough both to have been a contributor to the courses and activities of CCBS but also from the other side been a participant in some of those activities and workshops and both sides that has been a tremendous motivation and reward for me. I’ve learnt a lot and have been able to build up relationships with lots of people in the central banking world.
The span of the centre’s activities continues to start from traditional areas in monetary policy and financial stability but has been extended broadly into regulatory and supervisory questions and now into the many new challenges that central banks are facing. We have got a lot of issues around technology and we have done work on central bank digital currencies, climate is of course becoming a more and more important question as I think John’s comments revealed and we are going to do more and more work on diversity and inclusion.
We hope that the CCBS can be a locus of that activity not only because we have important things to develop and learn from others in that space but also because pushing the boundaries of thinking about central banking requires the diversity of experience and the inclusivity of learning from others that those type of issues bring to bear. And that is reflective of the fact that the last decade or so has presented many challenges to the central banking community, the global financial crisis of course but more recently the response to the Covid pandemic.
Meeting those challenges has required leadership and in particular, intellectual leadership, and that is where CCBS has, is and will continue to be at the cutting edge and play a leading role. In doing that we certainly have lots to offer but we also have a lot to learn. I think we can especially learn from the experiences of other central banks. The experiences of you in essence. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you here in the coming year. So I hope with that in mind that in the course of the next few months I will see you either virtually or hopefully as the months precede even in person at the CCBS. I can certainly recommend the activities to you and I look forward to welcoming you in 2022.