Joachim Nagel ©Sebastian Widmann

Reinhold Vollbracht succeeds Franz-Josef Benedikt

Franz-Josef Benedikt is stepping down as President of the Regional Office in Bavaria and will be succeeded by Reinhold Vollbracht, who previously headed a strategic office in the Directorate General Banking and Financial Supervision. Mr Benedikt’s retirement after 36 years brings to an end a Bundesbank career that saw him serve in various positions, including as President of the Regional Office in Saxony and Thuringia and, most recently, as President of the Regional Office in Bavaria. Speaking at the change of office ceremony in Munich, Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel hailed Mr Benedikt as an “eminently skilled, credible and engaging communicator and conversationalist” throughout his long career, lauding him as someone who tackled the prominent tasks of a regional office president with great enthusiasm, and represented the Bundesbank convincingly and winningly.

Economic education a particular passion

The Bundesbank President stressed how Mr Benedikt devoted many years to economic education and above all to advancing the Bank’s teacher training activities, and highlighted Mr Benedikt’s keen interest in digital innovations in payment systems.

Mr Benedikt, the Bundesbank President said, has left everything at the Regional Office in Bavaria with its five branches “in excellent order” for Reinhold Vollbracht, his successor. Mr Nagel explained that Reinhold Vollbracht brings essential qualities to the table for his new role: “Few people understand the special challenges facing banks and the important tasks of supervisors as well as you,” he remarked, because both have played a key role in Mr Vollbracht’s professional life. Reinhold Vollbracht takes over this new post after holding various managerial positions in banking and financial supervision since 2012.

Nagel: Bring inflation back down

In addition to welcoming the incoming President and bidding farewell to the outgoing President, Mr Nagel also used his speech to discuss the high inflation and the ECB Governing Council’s latest decisions. Noting that euro area inflation in June was yet again significantly higher than before, at 8.6%, Mr Nagel remarked that this also heightens the risk that inflation will remain higher in the medium term. “As the Governing Council of the ECB, we are judged by our words and, above all, by our actions. We need to bring inflation back to our target in the medium term,” he explained. Against this background, the Governing Council was therefore right to decide in June to end net asset purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) as of 1 July. Furthermore, the Governing Council announced its intention to raise the key ECB interest rates by 25 basis points at its July monetary policy meeting and the prospect of further interest rate increases going forward.