Central Banking Awards 2023: second group of winners unveiled

Awards announced for Governor of the year, Communications, Transparency and partners


Today (March 15), Central Banking announced the second group of winners in its 2023 awards, including Shaktikanta Das, who was named Governor of the year.

The second group also recognises central banks that are strong communicators and have boosted their transparency over the past year. Partner awards recognise firms that have supported central banks with sustainable investing, upgrading anti-money laundering frameworks and launching new regulatory frameworks.

The first group of winners, including the Central bank of the year, was revealed on March 13.

Governor of the year: Das, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, won the award for an extraordinary effort guiding India through recent crises while safeguarding reforms and overseeing a revolution in payments technology.

The governor has had to navigate turbulent waters, from the shock of Covid-19 to the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, against a tense political backdrop. Das demonstrated remarkable communication skills in balancing crisis support measures against the need for financial discipline, as the RBI continues to clean up longstanding weaknesses in public sector banks.

“The year 2022 presented unprecedented challenges, as the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shocks from the war in Ukraine threatened to derail the economic recovery in India, which had been assiduously nurtured over the previous two years,” Das says.

He adds the RBI “continued our focus on price stability, preserving resilience of the financial sector and promoting innovation”, which has helped support a strong economic rebound in India.

Transparency: The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina wins the 2023 Transparency award, for its efforts to tackle corruption through a new ethical code and whistle-blower facility that meets European Union standards.

Senad Softić, governor of the CBBH, says the central bank has had to operate in a “complex environment” for introducing new tools to resist corruption.

“Transparency and trust in the work of the CBBH is extremely important to us – because it additionally positions us as an independent institution, with the determination that its work will always be guided by expertise, all in the interest of our citizens and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he says.

Communications: The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has worked to boost financial education in the past year with a series of more than 30 high-quality videos. Its efforts have helped improve understanding of the central bank’s role across its eight member jurisdictions. It wins the Communications award.

Governor Timothy Antoine says the central bank’s communications goal is to “make it plain, to make it simple, to make it accessible”.

“In recent times, we have partnered with our community, to bring them in, as contributors, in creating content for various communications products,” he says. “And so, we’re very pleased with the award. It will energise us as we press forward with these efforts.”

ESG services: The award goes to BNP Paribas, for its work with central banks on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. The firm’s asset management unit worked in the past year with three Asian central banks on ESG investing, and has also supported Slovenia and Chile in their programmes of green bond issuance.

Johanna Lasker, chief executive for North America and head of official institutions at BNP Paribas Asset Management, says: “This recognition further exemplifies our objective, to act every day, everywhere we operate, in favour of a more sustainable economy and to help our clients meet tomorrow’s challenges today.”

Advisory services: Often, central banks and other authorities faced with the prospect of blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force do not know where to begin in making reforms. This is where Financial Transparency Advisors (FTA), winner of this years’ Advisory services award, is able to make a huge difference to the community.

The firm counts former anti-money laundering examiners among its senior staff, helping it to provide highly specialised advice on the intricacies of FATF assessments.

“It is immensely gratifying to get recognition for the huge time, effort and energy our team is devoting to every single one of our projects, and to guiding our client countries every step of the way,” says Gabriele Dunker, the firm’s founding partner.

Partner initiative: Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is building an impressive catalogue of projects supporting central banks with key regulatory decisions. NRF wins the award for Partner initiative.

In the past year, the firm has helped establish a crowdfunding regime in Armenia, working with the Central Bank of Armenia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“On behalf of my colleagues across the firm, I’m really delighted that we have received this recognition for our work with central banks, particularly in connection with innovative, leading-edge reforms,” says Matthew Gregory, partner at NRF. “Through our global financial services regulation and fintech practices, we are able to draw on a depth of expertise across jurisdictions to deliver these mandates.”

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