In 2018, the Bank of Finland maintained close dialogue with the general public. In addition to presenting the activities of the Bank and the Eurosystem, the purpose of meetings and events was to create the conditions for genuine dialogue.

Following the financial crisis, central bank communication has become a fundamental part of the monetary policy toolkit. Monetary policy communication is, however, mainly directed at central banks’ traditional audience – economic experts.

In 2018, the Bank of Finland communicated actively with a broader audience. Besides the traditional topics relating to monetary policy, financial stability and the domestic economy, in its events intended for the general public the Bank also discussed themes such as digitalisation, financial literacy, the sufficiency of cash and the payments revolution.

Bank of Finland promotes financial literacy among the young

Young people are one of the Bank of Finland’s key target groups. Members of the Board and other experts from the Bank visited educational institutions across the country and arranged educational sessions for teachers together with the Bank’s partners.

The Bank of Finland Museum hosted the Finnish final for the euro area-wide Generation €uro Students’ Award competition. The winning team, which was awarded a trip to the ECB, was Ålands lyceum – for the second consecutive year. The Museum also attracted young people with a panel discussion in which popular blogger and author Julia Thurén and Juha Panzar, Executive Director of Guarantee Foundation, discussed financial literacy.

Board members visited regional centres

The Bank of Finland visits the Finnish regions on a regular basis. During these visits, experts from the Bank and Board members get to know people and their sources of livelihood in the various regions and hold discussions with local entrepreneurs, students and authorities.

Each visit typically has its own theme, such as digitalisation when Olli Rehn, the then Vice Chairman of the Bank’s Board, visited Oulu. During the visit to Rauma led by Board member Marja Nykänen, a group of the Bank’s experts examined the prospects for the energy sector. In 2018, Board members visited Oulu, Rauma, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Pori, Turku and Joensuu.

More diverse selection of communication channels

The Bank of Finland uses seven different social media channels, of which the most recent is Facebook, which the Bank joined in 2018. Of the various social media tools, Bank of Finland experts use above all Twitter. At the end of the year, over 90 employees of the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority used their own Twitter accounts to participate in discussions and, for example, share links to their own articles or those of their colleagues.

There was a vast array of material to be shared: in 2018, the Bank of Finland published online five extensive issues of Euro & talous – and its English version, the Bank of Finland Bulletin – and a large number of expert articles and blog posts.

Despite the extensive use of social media, traditional media are still the primary source of information for the general public. For financial journalists and editors, the Bank of Finland organised events focusing on, for example, the outlook for the Finnish economy, cash and monetary policy. In addition, in November, Governor Rehn met representatives of the international media reporting on the Eurosystem in Frankfurt.

Bank of Finland Museum exhibits Civil War and cash

The Bank of Finland Museum, which operates as the Bank’s visitor centre, attracted almost 15,000 visitors during the year. At the beginning of 2018, the Museum held an exhibition on the Bank’s activities during the Finnish Civil War of 100 years ago. The exhibition presented the effects of the Civil War on the Finnish economy and on payment instruments.

In October, the Museum opened an exhibition of the best pictures submitted for a money-themed photography contest. The exhibition, entitled Happy Money, presents the multitude of connotations relating to cash.

Governor Liikanen hosted Open Doors for the last time

The Bank of Finland’s Open Doors event was held in May 2018 for the fifth time. The leading role was played by an art exhibition displaying works in the Bank of Finland’s art collection presented by volunteers from the Bank. The visual art was complemented by musical performances given by leading young pianists. In addition, experts from the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority gave short presentations on the economy and the main building and history of the Bank of Finland.

As new features, Open Doors 2018 presented literature and cinematography. Governor Erkki Liikanen hosted a discussion event in the Museum focusing on the year 1918 in literature and research.

The Museum also screened Peter von Bagh’s film Suomalaiset ja raha – rakkaustarina (‘The Finns and Money – A Love Story’), the director’s own personal perspective on the history of everyday life. The documentary was accompanied by music from the films of Aki Kaurismäki.