The budget of the central bank for next year will increase by three per cent
Eesti Pank’s budget for 2015 will be 20 million euros, which is 3.2% more than the budget for 2014.
The budget of the central bank is 4.5% higher than in 2014 without the costs of cash handling, which can vary greatly from year to year.
“The main growth in our budget has come from personnel costs as we have to remain competitive in the labour market. However, we have reduced staff numbers through internal reorganisation and found ways to make savings from infrastructure and other service costs”, said the Governor of Eesti Pank, Ardo Hansson.
New activities that have increased Eesti Pank’s costs are the supportive function for the Fiscal Council in Estonia, participation in the Single Supervisory Mechanism’s work, macroprudential supervision in Estonia, and activities connected to statistical data collection agreed upon in the euro area. The increase in work volume has led to additional employment in these areas.
The bank employed 2.8 fewer people in 2014 than in the previous year. The reduction was achieved by an internal reorganisation of work within the bank.
The management board’s aim is to have an efficient organisation and according to Mr Hansson this aim has been achieved if costs are compared over a long period. “The budget of Eesti Pank without the costs of cash handling has increased by slightly more than 2% over the last two years, at a time when Estonia’s nominal economic growth has probably been over 9%. In the longer term, wage and IT costs will continue to increase, and so we are looking to make savings elsewhere, principally from support services, and we are carefully considering the need for all our positions of employment”, he added.
The central bank payroll will be 5% larger than in 2014 at 9.1 million euros. This will make salaries roughly comparable to those for similar positions in the financial sector in Tallinn, where Eesti Pank competes for employees.
The costs of various services will remain steady next year at 7.2 million euros. IT costs will increase, mostly due to joint IT projects with other central banks in the euro area, while the central bank has found ways to decrease electricity and heating costs.
Spending on training, business travel and office expenses will be reduced by 1.5% in total to one million euros. Eesti Pank is planning 540 business trips next year in connection with the European Central Bank, down from the 550 planned for 2014.
Investments in fixed assets will increase from 1.3 million euros in 2014 to 1.8 million in 2015. The central bank is planning building work next year for archive space and training classrooms and around the exterior of the bank, and additional office space will be built for the Financial Supervisory Authority. The bank will buy in additional computer servers and a large amount of development work will focus on a data collection system for statistical reporting and document management, in addition to software solutions for data communication and the changeover to the Single European Payments Area (SEPA).
Eesti Pank’s forecast shows that the income for next year for the central bank will fall to 28.3 million euros. The largest share of Eesti Pank’s income comes from income related to the single monetary policy of the euro area. The bank also expects to gain income from management of foreign reserves and other operating revenues and is expected to make a profit of 8.3 million euros in 2015.
Eesti Pank and the other central banks of the euro area are responsible for maintaining price stability in the euro area. To do this, Eesti Pank must be independent, and for this reason the bank is not covered by the state budget.
Eesti Pank aims to provide Estonian society with the highest possible quality of central banking services as efficiently as possible. Among other measures, the central bank considers it a priority that its costs should not rise relative to gross domestic product (GDP). As cash handling costs can vary widely from year to year, they are not included in comparisons. The central bank budgets for both 2014 and 2015 were worth 0.087% of forecast GDP.
Eesti Pank’s operating revenues for 2014 will be published in the central bank’s annual report in the first half of 2015. Reports for earlier years can be accessed from the bank's website: http://www.eestipank.ee/en/publications/series/annual-report.
Public Relations Office
Tel: +372 668 0745, +372 527 5055
Email: viljar.raask [at] eestipank.ee
Press enquiries: press [at] eestipank.ee