Central Banking Awards: governor and central bank of the year unveiled

Karnit Flug and the Monetary Authority of Singapore win accolades
Karnit Flug
Karnit Flug wins governor of the year
Ariel Jerozolimski/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Central Banking has today (February 6) revealed the two overall winners of this year’s awards, with Karnit Flug winning the award for governor of the year and the Monetary Authority of Singapore taking central bank of the year.

The MAS has demonstrated its strengths by not only maintaining monetary and financial stability over the year in review, but also establishing itself as a pioneer of technology and financial research.

During the past year, the central bank tightened its trade-weighted exchange rate, the main instrument of monetary policy, and introduced macro-prudential measures to cool local markets.

At the same time as pushing technological innovation forward, the MAS has played an important role in understanding the potential risks, and upgrading its own regulatory, supervisory and resolution processes to cope with an evolving financial sector.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon says: “This award is a tribute to the staff of MAS – their unstinting commitment to doing their best and the ‘One MAS’ spirit of teamwork across the organisation.” 

“We would not have been able to achieve what we have without the strong partnership and support of the financial industry in Singapore, which has maintained high standards of prudence while pushing the boundaries of innovation,” Menon adds.

This award is a tribute to the staff of MAS
Ravi Menon, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Karnit Flug wins the governor of the year award for her leadership of the Bank of Israel.

Although she stepped down in November, Flug achieved some major breakthroughs over the year, including the establishment of a financial stability committee, which she had long fought for.

Her term was not always an easy one. The Bank of Israel plays a unique role as adviser to the Israeli government, as well as the guardian of price and financial stability, so Flug was forced to tread on highly political territory and often clashed with the minister of finance.

“Very challenging” and “satisfying”

Nevertheless, she was able to safeguard the Bank of Israel’s independence, and achieve macroeconomic and financial stability during her five years at the helm.

Flug tells Central Banking the period was “very challenging” and “satisfying”.

“We, at the bank, have many achievements to be proud of, and these would not have been possible without the co-operation of many partners in the public and private sectors, both in Israel and abroad,” she says.

Flug notes the task of achieving stability often requires “unpopular measures, which sometimes create frictions with the political system”.

But, she adds: “I found that focusing on what is best for the economy in the long term is a useful compass to guide us towards the best decisions. I was fortunate to be surrounded by a highly professional staff and management, who are completely committed to serving the public good. I take this last opportunity to thank them.”

The Bank of Israel said in a statement: “The award is another layer of the international recognition of the Bank of Israel in general, and of governor Flug in particular, during her term of office, and reflects the significant achievements in all of the Bank’s areas of activity to benefit the Israeli public and economy.”

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