Governor Tightens Grip Over Polish Central Bank’s Narrative

Polish central bank Governor Adam Glapinski is increasing control over how monetary policy decisions are communicated, a move that may further sideline dissenting voices on the policy-setting council.

From July, the governor will solely address the media following Monetary Policy Council meetings, according to the government gazette where such changes are announced. Over the past two decades, the central bank chief and two fellow policy makers were available to answer journalists’ questions after monthly gatherings.

Governor Tightens Grip Over Polish Central Bank’s Narrative

The change comes at a time when an increasingly vocal minority on the 10-member MPC is pressing for an interest-rate increase in response to surging inflation. Glapinski has so far quashed calls for tightening, saying that higher prices are temporary and the central bank needs to continue supporting economic growth.

The National Bank of Poland has faced criticism over its communications policy as Glapinski refused to speak to the media after MPC meetings for eight months running in 2020, despite uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. Investors were left grasping for insight from MPC statements, a rare comment or article from the governor as well as interviews with the other panelists.

Recorded or Live?

The move will make the monetary authority’s communications more in line with those of the European Central Bank, where President Christine Lagarde typically on her own runs briefings following Governing Council meetings.

Late last year, Glapinski started posting videos two days after MPC meetings, during which he responded to questions sent in advance by reporters. The would-be Q&A consists of the governor speaking about topics mentioned in the questions, which are available as an attachment, and there is no chance for any follow-ups.

The central bank’s press office said the change was decided following a review of the best practices by some of the world’s leading central banks including the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Riksbank. It declined to comment whether Glapinski will resume live news conferences after MPC meetings.

The MPC was created in 1998 to make a collegiate body of economists -- and not the central bank chief -- responsible for running the country’s monetary policy. The governor chairs the meetings and holds the tie-breaking vote on the panel.

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