1 February 2016

Two Awards established by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank were presented yesterday. The aim of the Lamfalussy Award is to recognise exceptional international efforts and lifetime achievements influencing international monetary policy. The Popovics Award, named after the first Governor of the MNB, is an honour granted in recognition of outstanding contribution in the fields of economics and finance.

Based on the proposal by the MNB’s technical committee, this year’s recipient of the Lamfalussy Award is not an individual, but a deservedly recognised institution, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) seated in Basel. Since its establishment, the BIS has been in the vanguard of thinking about monetary policy and financial stability and has established a new understanding of the functioning of modern economies. Alexandre Lamfalussy, who passed away last year, had also played an important role in the life of the institution for 18 years. For this reason, while acknowledging the achievements of the BIS staff, the Award is also a tribute to the ‘father’ of the euro.

This year’s recipient of the Popovics Award is Ádám Balog, President and CEO of MKB Bank and former Deputy Governor of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank. Mr Balog has made significant contribution to the implementation of the successful monetary policy turnaround in Hungary and to the development of the Funding for Growth Scheme, one of the pillars of Hungarian economic growth. MKB Bank, reformed under the leadership of Mr Balog, continues to operate in the domestic financial market as a competitive and profitable bank.

Later today, the Award Gala will be followed by the Lamfalussy Lectures Conference organised for the third time this year. The lecturers at the Conference include, among others, Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva, Deputy General Manager of the BIS, Jan Smets, Governor of the National Bank of Belgium, Edmond Alphandéry, former Minister of Economy of France, Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism, as well as Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Benoît Coeuré, member of the European Central Bank’s Executive Board, two previous recipients of the Lamfalussy Award.

This year the Alexandre Lamfalussy Conference will focus on the reform of the euro area. This has had lessons to be learned from the financial crisis, in order to arrive at solutions based on financial stability and structural reforms facilitating sustainable convergence. The lecturers at the Conference all have made significant efforts to achieve these goals.

Magyar Nemzeti Bank