Central bank dialogue: the new normal

“Thank you all for participating and this concludes today’s webinar.” Marcus Haas, advisor on banking supervision at the Centre for International Central Bank Dialogue (CIC), gives one last wave to the camera and ends the Webex session, taking his leave from 27 central bank employees from 15 countries, who have just participated in the online course “Banking Supervision within the Basel Framework, Part VIII: Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP)”.

New event formats seem to be successful

The online course on SREP was the last of a total of eight events covering various topics relating to Basel III, including market risk, credit risk, own funds and the leverage ratio. Each Wednesday at 13:30, up to 30 international guests were invited to participate in the presentations held by Bundesbank experts. The CIC intentionally placed a limit on the number of participants in order to facilitate interaction between them, similarly to a face-to-face event. Event times were also chosen specifically to allow guests from as many time zones as possible to take part.

The new format seems to be successful; the SREP presentation was viewed by participants from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, to name a few. Previous courses even welcomed a participant from Ecuador. “At the start of the online courses, we have a round of introductions. Everyone is asked to give their name, country of origin and the current time where they are. When someone says “half-past five in the morning” or “half-past seven in the evening”, one has to express sympathy,” Mr Haas says. At the same time, though, this speaks volumes about how highly the participants rate the event. Anyone who dials into a two-hour online course at half-past seven in the evening and remains until the very end, even actively participating, must have been won over by both its content and its quality. The feedback received thus far following the Basel series of courses confirms this. The overwhelming majority of participants found the event helpful for their own work and would recommend it to others.

Speakers also charting new territory

For the speakers, too, online courses represent a departure from the usual state of affairs. For many of them, it is their first time addressing a camera rather than a live audience. Marcus Haas is trying to make the transition as easy for them as possible. In some cases, test sessions were held in advance to give speakers a chance to get to grips with the technology, whilst at other events, Mr Haas himself showed the slides, moderated the chat and dealt with participants’ questions so that the speakers could concentrate fully on giving their presentations. “Reflecting on their experiences, everyone was happy with how the events went, and I think that most of them would gladly do it again,” Mr Haas says.

Monitor with Webex application
Dr Sebastian Irle discusses the subject of market risk in front of 27 international central bank employees during an online course.

Much new content in the works

Some speakers will probably have the opportunity to repeat the experience this year. As all international central banking courses have been cancelled for the remainder of 2020, online courses are set to become the new normal.

The CIC is currently preparing a great deal of new content. Further online courses are planned this year in the area of banking supervision, addressing such topics as COVID-19-related changes, IT supervision in banks and mathematical models for banking supervisors. Furthermore, the expert panel on green finance, which was meant to take place in March and had to be called off at short notice, will be held in the form of an online course over one week in November. Our website is continuously updated with information on all courses and dates.

Marcus Haas recommends subscribing to the CIC Newsletter so as not to miss any dates or registration deadlines. He is already looking forward to welcoming guests from as many countries and different time zones as possible to upcoming events.

Text and Photo: Marcus Haas