Smolii says central banks can learn from private sector communications

Central banks need a two-way dialogue with their “clients”, governor says; transparency has helped fight “downpour of fake news”
National Bank of Ukraine governor Yakiv Smolii
Yakiv Smolii
Photo: National Bank of Ukraine

Central banks can learn from the client-focused communication style of the private sector when seeking to reach a broader section of the population, Yakiv Smolii said today (May 23).

The National Bank of Ukraine governor said central banks should be “taking the corporate sector as an example” as they “seek two-way communication” with the public. In remarks at a research conference in Kiev, Smolii said central banks should view their stakeholders as clients: “Ask what your central bank can do for its stakeholders.”

He urged central banks to tailor their communications to individual “clients”, with differing messages for journalists, analysts, academics, government officials and members of the public.

“The central bank must choose communication platforms that are suitable for every party,” Smolii said. “Long story short, the need to be client oriented compels banks to transition to targeted communications.”

Smolii said increased transparency was a core part of the central bank’s strategy, and a goal it has been moving towards for the past five years. It was economic and financial crisis, and a corresponding drop in public trust, which pushed the central bank to open up, he added.

“We decided that breaking the silence was the only way to fight back [against] the endless attacks by oligarch bankers, manipulations by politicians, and a downpour of fake news,” Smolii said.

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