Influence and cooperation
5.4 The Bank of Finland and international cooperation
International cooperation is an important part of the Bank of Finland’s work (Chart 21). The Bank participates in the work of international and European institutions and committees and cooperates closely with the national central banks of other countries.
The Bank of Finland is responsible for Finland’s relations with the International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organisation of 189 member countries working to foster international cooperation, open and rules-based foreign trade, sustainable economic growth and financial stability. The Bank of Finland is responsible for Finland’s relations with the IMF.
The Governor of the Bank of Finland, Olli Rehn, is Finland’s representative on the highest governing body of the IMF, the Board of Governors.
The Bank of Finland also influences the activities of the IMF via the Nordic-Baltic constituency, which has a joint representative on the Executive Board of the IMF. In 2019, Mika Pösö, Head of the General Secretariat of the Bank of Finland, was selected for the post for 2020–2022. Policy positions in matters discussed by the Executive Board are prepared among the countries of the constituency. In participating in this preparation, the Bank of Finland and the Finnish Ministry of Finance work in collaboration.
The activities of the constituency are guided by the Nordic-Baltic Monetary and Financial Committee (NBMFC). The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Finland, Marja Nykänen, is a member of the Committee.
IMF meetings are important fora for international cooperation
In 2019, the Bank of Finland participated in the IMF’s spring and annual meetings, which are among the most important fora for international cooperation. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) also convened in connection with these meetings. The Committee discussed the global economic outlook, international financial stability and current economic policy challenges. In the Annual Meetings held in autumn 2019, the Nordic and Baltic countries were represented in the IMFC by Finland’s Minister of Finance, Mika Lintilä.
In 2019, the discussions at the IMF meetings were characterised in particular by the slower growth of the global economy and concerns about the state and future of international cooperation. Kristalina Georgieva, who took up her post as the new Managing Director of the IMF in autumn 2019, highlighted in her contributions the need to ensure multilateralism, improve the sustainability of the global economy, tackle inequality and prepare for climate change.
Bank of Finland participation in the work of EU institutions and committees
The Bank of Finland is a member of the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee (EFC). The EFC has been set up to promote economic policy coordination among EU Member States and participate in the preparatory work for the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).
In 2019, the EFC convened eight times in its full composition, i.e. with national central banks. In its meetings, the EFC discussed, among other things, the condition of the European financial system, development of the Banking and Capital Markets Union, prevention of money laundering, sustainable investment and financial market innovations. The EFC also prepared joint policy views for international meetings and discussed topical international issues, such as needs related to the reform of the global financial architecture.
In 2019, the Bank of Finland participated in the work of many EU committees and institutions promoting the stability of the banking and financial system. An important example of these is the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). The Governor of the Bank of Finland is a member of the General Board of the ESRB. Issues discussed by the ESRB in 2019 included the risks to financial stability in the EU, macroprudential policy in Member States, cybersecurity in the financial system and the development of monitoring of the commercial real estate market.
In 2019, the Bank of Finland co-organised with the ESRB and RiskLab Finland, for the fifth time, a conference focusing on systemic risk analytics.
The Bank for International Settlements promotes central bank cooperation and dialogue
The Governor of the Bank of Finland participates in the regular meetings of the Governors of the member central banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). These meetings discuss developments and current issues relating to the global economy and the financial markets, and matters of interest to central banks.
In 2019, the specific themes of discussion included capital flows and financial cycles, the availability of financial services, digitalisation of the financial markets and non-standard monetary policy.
In summer 2019, Governor Rehn participated in the BIS Annual Conference, which this year focused on the digital economy and financial innovation. Governor Rehn chaired the session dealing with the real effects of financial innovation.
Bank of Finland cooperation with other Nordic central banks
The Bank of Finland maintains close contacts with the central banks of the other Nordic countries. Nordic central bank Governors convene annually to discuss current central bank issues and other relevant matters.
In 2019, the governors met in Uppsala, Sweden and discussed topics such as the housing market and issues relating to the payment system and money laundering.
As in previous years, cooperation between Nordic central bank experts was promoted in 2019, too. There were a variety of events covering a wide array of different departmental activities.
Training cooperation with the Bank of Russia continues
The Bank of Finland has long been engaged in training cooperation with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). This cooperation has taken the form of, for example, training sessions for Bank of Russia personnel at the Bank of Finland and, in some cases, lectures given by Bank of Finland experts in Russia.
In 2019, the Bank of Finland organised two training sessions with the Bank of Russia at the Bank of Finland. The training topics were human resources management, strategic planning and project management.