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Frankfurt am Main | 09.05.2018

Weidmann pays tribute to former Executive Board members Dombret and Thiele

Farewell ceremony for former Executive Board members Carl-Ludwig Thiele and Andreas Dombret

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has paid tribute to the work of former Executive Board members Andreas Dombret and Carl-Ludwig Thiele, thanking them for their outstanding contribution to the Bank’s achievements. They have made a lasting difference in their respective areas of responsibility and done much to promote the interests of the Bundesbank, Mr Weidmann said at the official farewell ceremony. Mr Dombret and Mr Thiele retired from the Bank’s Executive Board on 30 April 2018 after eight years of service.

Basel III a particular challenge

Andreas Dombret’s remit at the Bundesbank included banking supervision and representing the Bank on international committees. Mr Weidmann hailed Mr Dombret’s particular ability to negotiate in the international arena, calling it "a gift that kept on giving for the Bundesbank", and reminded the audience that the finalisation of the Basel III regime was very much to Mr Dombret’s credit: "With unilateralism raising its head again, getting the United States under President Donald Trump on board for this global financial accord was a major achievement." In his own farewell speech, Mr Dombret dubbed Basel III "a very special challenge", declaring that he had "fought on the front lines for many years in the interests of banking stability" and that he had his eyes firmly set on what was best for Germany.

Gold transparency campaign

Turning to Carl-Ludwig Thiele, whose responsibilities at the Bundesbank included cash operations as well as payments and settlement systems, Mr Weidmann singled out Mr Thiele’s work in connection with the Bank’s gold reserves. In a reference to the Bank’s transparency campaign, the Bundesbank President remarked, "You made it clear that here at the Bundesbank, all that glitters is gold." Under Mr Thiele’s leadership, the Bank’s transparency campaign set about sharing detailed information about the German gold reserves with the general public in 2013. Furthermore, the central bank shipped 674 tonnes of gold from New York and Paris to Frankfurt am Main, which is now home to more than half of Germany’s gold reserves. "By providing transparent facts and presenting individual bars in an appealing manner on various occasions, you have helped to fundamentally strengthen the confidence of the general public in the Bundesbank as the custodian of Germany’s foreign reserves," Mr Weidmann noted. Mr Thiele used his farewell speech to announce that his retirement marked the end of 28 years of public office in Germany: 20 years in the Bundestag and eight on the Bundesbank’s Executive Board. "Whether in the world of politics or on the Bundesbank’s Executive Board, I have always been an advocate of freedom in responsibility, orderly public finances, fiscal prudence, clear rules and stability-oriented policymaking," he explained.

Bundesbank a well-regarded source of advice

The farewell ceremony at the Bundesbank’s Central Office also saw Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz deliver a speech in which he stressed the Bundesbank’s role as a well-regarded source of advice and expressed his gratitude for the close and constructive cooperation. Particularly in times of major challenges, which for Mr Scholz include globalisation, what is needed is an institution with a clear vision that knows what has to be done. "These are challenges that can only be resolved at the European level," he added, which is why the Federal Government is keen to take up the initiative launched by the French President Emmanuel Macron, even if there is no intention to implement all the proposals on the table as they stand. "We have entered a spell in which we need to tackle specifics," the Federal Finance Minister remarked.

Executive Board deputisation arrangements

Back at the end of March, the Bundesrat nominated Burkhard Balz, who studied law and is currently a member of the European Parliament, to succeed Andreas Dombret. Mr Balz is expected to take up his new role on 1 September 2018. The succession arrangements for Carl-Ludwig Thiele are not yet known. Until then, Mr Thiele’s responsibilities will be allocated among members of the Executive Board pursuant to the deputisation arrangements that are in place. Under these arrangements, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has assumed Mr Dombret’s responsibility for the Risk Control Division, while Executive Board member Joachim Wuermeling is temporarily overseeing the representative offices and the Directorates General Banking Supervision and Economic Education. Bundesbank Executive Board member Johannes Beermann has taken over responsibility for cash operations, payments and settlement systems as well as controlling from Mr Thiele as an interim arrangement.

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