Germans Thorsten Proettel, Carolin Thol win WSBI-ESBG academic research prize
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BRUSSELS, 9 December 2016 – A pair of German researchers won last night in Brussels the WSBI-ESBG sponsored Savings and Retail Banking Awards, an academic prize given for their academic work on the history of savings banks and finance.
Thorsten Proettel won the €5000 first prize for his study, Path dependencies in European Savings Banks: The impact of fundamental decisions during the wave of foundations 200 years ago. A doctoral candidate at the University of Mannheim and an economist since 2007 at the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, he analyzed in his study the different patterns in organisation schemes and investment of deposits existing among the savings banks during the 19th and early 20th centuries. He compared the evolution of the savings banks in different European countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Second prize went to Carolin Thol for her paper Poverty Relief and Financial Inclusion: Savings Banks in Nineteenth Century Germany. She examined the effects of savings banks on poverty relief and financial inclusion in the German state of Saxony during the nineteenth century based on new statistical data. She was lauded for her outstanding and innovative approach to historical statistical data collected on savings banks in Saxony. Supported by the London School of Economics and employed as an analyst at Belmana Ltd.., the runner-up accolade earned her €2,500 in prize money.
WSBI-ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose, who presented the awards, said: "The award gives an opportunity to meet with a lot of great young researchers like Carolin and Thorsten. The WSBI and ESBG see it as their mission to encourage and support academic research like theirs, which is needed to boost awareness and appreciation of what makes savings and retail banks so unique within a complex banking world."
Both winning studies have been published by WSBI and ESBG as part of the two organisations' research series.
Prior to the ceremony, the winners and awards committee were invited by WSBI-ESBG to visit the Museum of the National Bank of Belgium, the financial heart of the Belgian capital.