Central banks must improve communication to regain public trust, the BoE's chief economist Andy Haldane says

Courtney Goldsmith
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Banking institutions need to practice, not preach, Haldane said (Source: Getty)

Central banks need to improve how and with whom they communicate in order to regain public trust.

Many don't understand the role of institutions like the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England (BoE) despite their role in keeping global economies afloat during times of crisis, BoE chief economist Andy Haldane said in a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco last night.

Haldane said:

Trust is the lifeblood of all things monetary and financial, including central banks.

And incredulity is Kryptonite for central banking Supermen (and the odd Superwoman), rendering ineffective their policies and unaccountable their actions.

Building trust and legitimacy is among the most pressing issues facing central banks today.

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The way trust is built has been "fundamentally reconfigured", Haldane said.

"Where once trust was anonymised, institutionalised and centralised, today it is increasingly personalised, socialised and distributed."

Haldane suggested using simpler language and new technologies like gaming and social media, to understand views of groups which are currently out of reach, like younger people.

"Central banks are public institutions, put on earth to serve the public. As the public’s norms, preferences and demands shift, so too must central bank practices," he said.

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