BIS appoints new Chairman of the Financial Stability Institute

Press release  | 
31 October 2000

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today appointed Josef Tosovský as Chairman of the Financial Stability Institute (FSI) of the BIS. Mr Tosovský will assume his responsibilities on 1 December 2000. John G Heimann who has led the Institute since its inception in early 1999 will remain associated with the Financial Stability Institute as Senior Adviser.

Mr Tosovský is currently Governor of the Czech National Bank. Upon completion of his studies in economics in 1973 he joined the State Bank of Czechoslovakia, rising to the position of Adviser to the President of the Bank in 1982. Following a stay abroad, Mr Tosovský was appointed President of the State Bank of Czechoslovakia in late 1989. Under his guidance, the State Bank was transformed into an independent central bank and a strategy of economic reform was designed and implemented. By contributing to macroeconomic stability, financial sector development and currency convertibility, Mr Tosovský helped steer a successful transition process to a market-led economy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Following the split of former Czechoslovakia, Mr Tosovský was appointed Governor of the newly established Czech National Bank in January 1993. He has held the position continuously since, except for a brief period between late 1997 and mid-1998 when he served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic in a caretaker capacity. Mr Tosovský has also been active at various academic institutions, both at home and abroad. His career has been marked by several prestigious awards, including that of "Central Banker of the Year" (1993), "European Manager of the Year" (1994) and "European Banker of the Year" (1996).

The Financial Stability Institute is a joint initiative of the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision with a mandate to promote the sound management of the financial system worldwide, initially through the strengthening of prudential supervision. To date, the FSI has offered senior supervisors focused seminars on a wide variety of topics, including risk management, information technology, consolidated supervision and corporate governance, and has organised special seminars on capital adequacy, deposit insurance and foreign banking. In addition, the FSI has held a series of regional workshops on common supervisory problems and solutions. The programmes are based in part upon the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. Interaction between the private sector, central banks and supervisory authorities plays an important role in achieving the Institute's objectives. Since its inception the Institute has organised 35 events with participation from over 140 countries, resulting in a balanced global representation. The programme for the coming year will build further on these achievements. It includes 35 already scheduled events and will feature the New Basel Capital Accord as a core topic of discussion.

Andrew Crockett, General Manager of the BIS and Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum, said: "I am delighted that we will have an individual with the experience and stature of Josef Tosovský to succeed John Heimann at the helm of the FSI. When John Heimann was appointed as the first Chairman of the FSI in February 1999, we were aware that this would be a short-term assignment for him. Even in this short span of time, John has done an exceptional job in launching the Institute and quickly establishing its reputation. I am therefore delighted that we also will be able to call on John's experience as we develop the work of the FSI. John and I agree that Josef Tosovský is the ideal person to build on these achievements and to solidify the Institute's role as a centre for activities aimed at strengthening financial stability".

In seconding the appointment of Mr Tosovský, John Heimann said "I am honoured to have been entrusted with the establishment of the FSI. Over the past two years, we have created an organisation within the BIS framework which is unique in the global financial supervisory system. The unflagging support of the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has been critical to the FSI's accomplishments. I am personally delighted that Josef Tosovský has agreed to carry our programmes forward and I very much look forward to my continuing involvement with the FSI and its staff in an advisory capacity".