Andres Lipstok to pass the torch to Ardo Hansson

Today is the last day of office for Andres Lipstok who has served as Governor of Eesti Pank since 2005. Ardo Hansson will take the office as governor of the central bank on Thursday. The governor is appointed for a term of seven years, not for more than one consecutive term.

"The last seven years have been very exciting for me, especially considering the wide range of activities pursued by the central bank. Various daily services used by the Estonian people - e.g. settlements and currency circulation - require smooth operation of the central bank. I would first like to thank the bank’s staff who continue to strive towards the smooth operation of the central bank and maintain the reliability of Estonia on the international arena," Andres Lipstok said.

"I would also like to thank Eesti Pank’s partners, whom I have had the honour of cooperating with over the last seven years, serving the best interests of Estonia. The changeover project demonstrated the ability of the Estonian people to combine the forces of the public and the private sector. This is quite an achievement; we have all the reasons to be proud of our nation," Lipstok said.

Albeit the sovereign debt crisis is exerting great pressure on the euro area central banks, Lipstok believes that the Eurosystem has succeeded in preventing the spill-over of inter-bank mistrust into corporate financing and job creation. "There is great pressure on the governments of euro area countries to implement the required reforms and restore confidence in public finance," Andres Lipstok said.

"The Governor of Eesti Pank is now more powerful than ever. As a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, Ardo will participate in decisions affecting inflation in the entire euro area with a population of more than 330 million people. Indeed, my last working day is also spent in Frankfurt, passing the euro area interest decision together with other governors of central banks. I am convinced that Ardo’s education and professional experience has well prepared him for the demanding work," Andres Lipstok said.

"I will pass the torch to Ardo with all confidence. The Estonian banking sector stands strong; there is no need to use taxpayer money to save banks; our people and companies have savings, and our inter-bank payments are quicker than anywhere else in Europe. Eesti Pank is well able to perform its tasks. I would like to see it keep its course in the future," Andres Lipstok said.

In the summer, Andres Lipstok plans to take a holiday - the first in years - and will then decide which challenges to take thereafter.

Prior to being appointed the Governor of Eesti Pank, Andres Lipstok served as a member of the Riigikogu (1995-2005) and as the first Vice-President of the Riigikogu (2005). Lipstok served as the Minister of Finance in 1994-1996, Deputy Minister of Finance in 1989 and the Minister of Economic Affairs in 1995-1996. Lipstok served as the Lääne County Governor in 1989-1994 and worked for the financial department and planning committee of Haapsalu District in 1980-1989. Andres Lipstok has graduated from the University of Tartu, majoring in finance and credit.

Ardo Hansson previously worked for the World Bank, serving as the Chief of the World Bank’s Economics Unit in China since 2008. In addition to China, Hansson has also worked with various Eastern European and Balkan countries. Hansson served as a member of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank in 1993-1998, economics adviser to the Estonian Prime Minister in 1992-1995 and in 1997, and adviser with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1991-1992. Hansson was also a member of the Estonian Monetary Reform Committee. Having obtained a PhD degree in economics from Harvard University, Hansson has previously worked for severable reputable universities and published numerous articles on economic policy.

Ardo Hansson’s photo is available on the website of Eesti Pank.

On February 21, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves signed the resolution on the appointment of Ardo Hansson as Governor of Eesti Pank in accordance with the proposal of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank dated February 1.

Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, the Governor of Eesti Pank shall be appointed to office by the President of the Republic on the proposal of the Supervisory Board of the central bank. The proposal requires the votes-in-favour of at least five members of the Supervisory Board. By law, the governor of the central bank is appointed to office for a term of seven years, not for more than one consecutive term.

For further information:
Ingrid Mitt
Eesti Pank
Public Relations Office
Eurosystem
Telephone: +372 668 0965, +372 512 6843
E-mail: ingrid.mitt [at] eestipank.ee
Media queries: press [at] eestipank.ee