Banka Slovenije virtual open day
To mark its 30th anniversary Banka Slovenije opened its doors and invited the public to a virtual open day. The event featured an interview of Governor Boštjan Vasle by journalist Jure Ugovšek. The key tasks of the central bank were also presented by other members of the Governing Board, and guests got to tour the museum and other parts of the premises. The governor also answered the questions from the audience.
A recording of the event is available here.
Key challenges in 2022
A world that had only just recovered from the last financial and economic crisis was plunged into a global pandemic two years ago. Like the financial crisis before it, this necessitated a well-measured response from governments, central banks and businesses, to alleviate the economic impact and to maintain growth.
Whether they are still addressing the consequences of the financial crisis from over a decade ago, or have been imposed more recently to maintain the stability of the financial system during the pandemic, there are many measures interacting. As a result, the general public and the world of business all face major questions as we enter 2022.
While the major central banks spent last year largely concerned with economic recovery and the accompanying epidemiological picture, this year much of their focus will be on dealing with higher inflation. How will the European Central Bank, and with it Banka Slovenije, focus on managing inflation? Will promoting economic growth still be there at the forefront?
The rise in inflation has already led to certain changes in monetary policy, and the ECB is not yet planning to raise its key interest rates, but it seems as though this issue is also coming slowly to the fore. What will higher inflation and rising interest rates, including bank rates, mean for the economy, wages and real estate prices?
30 years of Banka Slovenije
In the words of Mr Vasle: “On the same day that the Republic of Slovenia proclaimed its independence, Banka Slovenije was established as one of its key institutions. Ever since then, our most important duty has been to maintain the stable growth of prices.” Last year saw Banka Slovenije celebrate its 30th anniversary, and the celebrations have continued into this year.
Over this time, as the central bank we have made a significant contribution to the development of the country, and have been a part of numerous significant milestones for Slovenia. It all began with creation and international establishment of Slovenia’s first currency, the tolar, before moving on to reforms to the payment system, and the establishment of vital connections with international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements.
When Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004, Banka Slovenije became a member of the European System of Central Banks, and in 2007 we joined the euro, Europe’s single currency, and became a part of the Eurosystem. The numerous changes also had a significant effect on Slovenia’s financial system and on its citizens. Now Banka Slovenije pursues its monetary policy together with the other central banks in the Eurosystem. This allows us to provide for stable growth in prices throughout the euro area, which provides a supportive environment for the approximately 340 million inhabitants of the euro area to achieve their objectives in business and in life.
One of the main social responsibilities of central banks is to play their part in the global response to climate change Banka Slovenije is well aware of the increasing climate risks and of the importance of collective efforts, and so we take an active role in the working groups of the European Central Bank, the European Systemic Risk Board and the European Banking Authority. We are committed to using our mandate over the coming years to help meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, and to contribute to the work of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), which we joined in 2020.
Financial education and support for the arts
The last economic crisis revealed the genuine importance of people being well-informed not only about their personal finances, but also about the financial system and the workings of the central bank. Banka Slovenije has therefore strengthened its financial literacy programmes for preschool and school-age children and for older students. We regularly organise education days, which are attended by children and young people from all over Slovenia.
As part of our work to strengthen financial education, we have also opened the Banka Slovenije museum, which is free to visit. Have you ever weighed a gold bar? Do you know how many gold bars it takes to make your weight in gold? Have you ever wondered how to tell a counterfeit banknote from a genuine one? Or what happens to money when it is damaged or worn out? The answers to these questions can be found at the Banka Slovenije museum, where people of all ages can find out how the central bank affects their lives as individuals.
Banka Slovenije is also an enthusiastic supporter of the arts. We prioritise young artists, and give them a chance to express themselves in a contemporary environment. Banka Slovenije’s Mala Galerija has now hosted a long series of successful exhibitions by young artists and other creatives under our patronage. The current exhibition running until 8 February at the Mala Galerija is by students from the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Architecture, and is entitled Catastrophe and opportunity: Ljubljana before and after the earthquake.