“Central Banking” magazine announced this morning that it has chosen the Bank of Israel as the winner of the global award it grants once a year in the area of Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology—FinTech & RegTech—for the Bank’s initiatives in the area of use and rapid analysis of economic information during the crisis—“Data Management Initiative”.


The decision to grant the international award to the Bank of Israel was reached by a panel of the magazine’s editors and the magazine’s advisory committee, which is made up of former central bank governors from around the world.


Among the reasons for the award, the judges noted that they were very impressed by the manner in which the Bank of Israel immediately understood the importance of the information and worked quickly to compile teams and tools to develop numerous and varied sources of information, to collect data from them and analyze them, and formulate insights regarding the assistance steps required during the volatile period of the coronavirus.


Central Banking magazine, founded in 1990, is published in London. It is the only independent magazine that deals with central banking. It is read in 140 countries and in most central banks worldwide. Each year, the magazine awards prizes in various categories in the field of central banking.


Both in routine times and as part of dealing with the coronavirus crisis, the Bank of Israel collects data from a range of sources and formulates, on an ongoing basis, a picture of the Israeli economy in both real and financial terms. Due to the coronavirus crisis and the rapid pace of events, alongside the broad adverse impact on the economy, rapid and unique steps were required. Therefore, among other things, a designated information infrastructure was established at the Bank of Israel, which monitors indicators from various content areas. They are unique in that they are updated in real time and analyzed immediately. The dynamic picture is updated frequently and presented on an ongoing basis within the framework of the situation room set up by the Governor of the Bank of Israel in view of the spread of the coronavirus already in February. It includes, among other things, indicators from the labor and credit markets, and data from the banking system, capital market, and foreign exchange market. In view of the evolving character of the crisis, unique rapid indicators enable the Bank to identify changes in economic trends in particularly short ranges of time. This is of tremendous importance, as the speed of the response has a determining importance in minimizing the adverse economic impact. These indicators, and many additional data, are used by the Bank’s economists for various analyses that help in setting policy steps taken by both the government and the Bank, and in assessing their effectiveness in assisting the Israeli economy. Some of the indicators that are updated are published on the Bank of Israel website each week.


Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Amir Yaron said, “We are honored to win this award, and I would like to thank the Central Banking Awards Committee for its selection. This prestigious prize grants international professional recognition to the innovation and the significant achievements attained in the complex period of the coronavirus crisis. This activity was carried out by the Bank’s experts through collaboration across departments, and they helped in bringing essential economic information in real time to managing the crisis, and contributed to the decision making process of policy makers within the Bank itself, as well as in the government and in other entities.”​