Engagement and cooperation
6.5 Bank of Finland’s communications in 2022 highlighted the economic impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the energy crisis
The Bank of Finland’s communications in 2022 included a strong focus on reader-friendly texts and the central role of experts. The Bank’s staff also adopted new hybrid working practices. In January 2022, the new Financial Literacy Centre was opened at the Bank of Finland Museum with the purpose of implementing the national strategy for promoting financial literacy.
The importance of the Bank of Finland’s communications and the need for these communications to be reliable took on great significance in 2022. The Bank’s analyses of the economic crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine attracted international attention. In addition, a report was commissioned which concluded that the Bank had coped well with the two-year COVID-19 pandemic.
The report examined the work of the crisis organisation that had been set up during the pandemic. It was completed at the end of 2022. According to the report, the Bank of Finland’s COVID-19 crisis communications were performed successfully, at a sufficient level and on a multi-channel basis.
Regular and focused communications added to the staff’s sense of safety and security during the pandemic. Other key successes mentioned in the report were the prompt setting up of the crisis organisation and securing of uninterrupted operations, the attention given to the health security of the staff, and the rapid switch to working remotely from home.
Bank of Finland examined and analysed economic impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine and provided information to an international audience
Contingency preparations and continuity management have become increasingly important aspects of the work of the Bank of Finland and are also reflected in the Bank’s strategic objectives for the coming years. At national level, the Bank of Finland participates in ensuring operational continuity in the financial sector in cooperation with operators in the sector and other public authorities.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 marked the start of an unusual period at the Bank of Finland, as the focus shifted from examining economic outlooks and post-pandemic challenges to studying and analysing the economic implications of the war.
The impacts of the war quickly reverberated throughout the global economy. The energy crisis brought by the war halted Finland’s economic growth and pushed up inflation. Central banks sought to respond to the surge in inflation by tightening monetary policy and raising interest rates.
The Bank of Finland assessed the economic impacts of the crisis during the year and actively communicated on its findings. In particular, experts from the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) made frequent appearances in the Finnish and international media.
The Bank of Finland website has a designated page for material published by the Bank concerning the economic impact of the war.
Bank of Finland provides topical, independent and research-based information for the general public
In 2022, the aim of the Bank of Finland’s communications was to publish accessible, diverse and tailored content in all channels used by the Bank. Reader friendly content included brief summaries, visualisations and short videos.
Key themes of the Bank of Finland’s communications in 2022 were the economic impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine and ensuring payment systems in Finland can function under all circumstances.
Other themes in the Bank’s external communications included the tightening of monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB), the increase in daily household expenditure due to surging inflation and sharply rising energy prices, and the impact of rising interest rates on mortgage borrowers.
The Bank of Finland’s experts took an active role in communication in 2022, writing a total of 55 blog posts. By the end of the year, about a quarter of the Bank’s staff had joined the Twitter group for experts working at the Bank of Finland.
Participation by Bank of Finland experts in the discussions on social media has strengthened the Bank’s position as a credible and dependable organisation.
The active role of Bank of Finland staff members helped ensure the Bank’s messages were widely read in social media and understood as efforts to share accurate information and support the work of colleagues.
Bank of Finland’s role as reliable information source highlighted during crises
The active efforts which the Bank of Finland has made during non-crisis times to provide reliable and independent information have resulted in considerable interest being shown during times of crisis towards the information provided by the Bank’s experts and in its published material.
The proactive research and analysis work carried out by the Bank of Finland proved its value after Russia invaded Ukraine, as the Bank of Finland gained a lot of media coverage of its expert opinions and forecasts for the Finnish economy.
During the first month of Russia’s invasion, the Bank of Finland was mentioned in a total of 53 editorials, columns or journalists’ comments related to the war.
The Bank of Finland updated the look and features of the Bank of Finland Bulletin website based on a user survey, stakeholder interviews and observations made by staff experts.
The new-look website was launched at the end of 2022 and will meet users’ needs more effectively. The changes made also improve the usability and accessibility of the website. The visual design of the site was also updated.
Bank of Finland’s internal communications in 2022 highlighted hybrid working challenges and the security environment
In 2022, the Bank of Finland adjusted to a new kind of work culture, as the staff learned new ways of working in a hybrid working environment.
Attention to the wellbeing of staff, their ability to cope at work and a safe working environment all featured prominently in the Bank’s internal communications.
The Bank of Finland’s staff have played an important role in building everyday safety and security. An internal campaign on everyday safety and security that started at the end of 2021 and lasted throughout 2022 clearly increased staff knowledge concerning a safe working environment and their information security skills.
During the campaign, internal communications focused on such matters as the safe use of social media and online sites, the principles of responsible communications, and information influence activities. Based on a survey completed at the end of the campaign, the staff’s own experience of working safely and securely had improved.
Open Doors event brought together culture, history and people
At the end of September and start of October 2022, the Bank of Finland held an Open Doors event in the Bank’s main building and in the Bank of Finland Museum.
The main themes of the event were art and history, money and payments and financial literacy. Information on these themes was displayed in the main building and at the Museum.
Before the official Open Doors event, the Bank of Finland organised a family day for staff and their families and friends to view the exhibits. Separate events were also organised for stakeholders.
Alongside the art exhibition, experts from the Bank presented briefings on topical matters, such as phishing and the sanctions related to Russia’s war in Ukraine. For children at the event, the Bank also organised an art workshop and a creative opportunity using shredded banknotes, as well as a look at banknote security features.
The three-day Open Doors event for the public attracted a total of about 5,100 visitors. Feel free to revisit the Open Doors event on the Bank of Finland‘s Flickr account.
Financial Literacy Centre opened at the Bank of Finland Museum in 2022
In 2022, the Bank of Finland continued its work aimed at promoting the level of financial literacy among the general public.
The most significant step forward in this was the opening of the Financial Literacy Centre at the Bank of Finland Museum in January 2022. The opening took place virtually. Speakers at the event were Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko and Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn.
The Financial Literacy Centre has attracted great interest both within and outside Finland. The Centre’s work at the Museum focuses on promoting people’s financial literacy and supporting the national strategy on financial literacy, which is under the direction of the Ministry of Justice.
Bank of Finland’s financial literacy role well known internationally too
The Bank is Finland is Finland’s only full member of the OECD/INFE, which is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s International Network on Financial Education.
The OECD/INFE meetings offer useful insight into various strategies for financial literacy in different countries and on international research and measuring financial literacy.
In January 2022, the European Commission and OECD/INFE published a joint financial competence framework for adults. Similar frameworks are being drawn up for children and youth.
Bank of Finland Museum reactivated after pandemic
Over the course of 2022, the Bank of Finland Museum sprang back into life after the pandemic, and its visitor numbers picked up as each month passed.
At the end of the year, the number of visitors finally reached the long-term average, which is more than 10,000 visitors. The Museum’s up-to-date guided tours attracted a large number of reservations.
In 2022, the Museum’s public lectures were held in hybrid form and mainly attended online. The online coverage of the lectures has improved their accessibility.