Workshop on low interest rates on May 27

​Explores low-rates' impact on savings behavior, historical influence on savings and retail banks 

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​​​BRUSSELS, 14 April 2016 – Savings and retail banks and low interest rates in an historical perspective will be one of five subject areas discussed at a May 27 WSBI-ESBG workshop in Brussels.

Under the theme “Savings in a World without Interest", academics, professionals and other interested people are invited to attend the one day event. Discussions will focus on savings-related topics such as the impact of monetary and fiscal policies in periods of recession. Participants will also explore, other subject, such as what best people should do with their money during the current low-interest rate era: Why people still save during periods of low or negative interest rates;  when would customers opt for more risky investments; and  whether people save providently now  for a 'rainy day'.

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Low interest rates: a historical perspective

The event will explore savings and retail banks and low interest rates from an historical perspective. More specifically, it will try to answer if whether or not periods of low interest rates, low inflation and weak economic growth influence the behavior of the savings and retail banks. It will also seek answers to how the economic and geopolitical environment impacts the financial advice bank staff give their customers.  Do savings institutions advise customers to save for anticipated expenditure where prices are not elastic downwards, such as education or long term care?

​Seven top experts to speak

Seven speakers will share their views and experiences on the savings behaviour throughout history, as well as the period of ultra-low interest rates Europe is currently facing, during the workshop "Savings in a World without Interest". The event will take place on 27 May in Brussels, from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by a networking lunch. Chris De Noose, WSBI-ESBG Managing Director, will a give a welcome address.

Garrick Hileman, rewarded Senior Research Associate in the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance & London School of Economics and researcher at the Centre for Macroeconomics, will talk about the "Four Origins and Measurement of Financial Repression: the British Case mid-20th Century". Garrick has already been invited to present his research on Monetary and Financial Innovation to government organisations, including central banks and war colleges, as well as private firms such as Visa, Black Rock, and UBS.

Recently ranked by City A.M. as one of the 100 most influential economists in the UK & Ireland, Garrick has 20 years of private sector experience with both start-ups and established companies such as Visa, Lloyd's of London, Bank of America, The Home Depot, and Allianz. Other researches he carried out include Systemic Risk, Sovereign Debt, Financial Crises, Black Markets, Financial Repression, and Innovation.

Andreas Hoffmann, from the University of Leipzig, in Germany, will compare "Savings and Investment during the Great Depression and the Recent Global Crisis". Dr. Hoffmann holds a PhD in economics and teaches International Economics, Financial Development and Macroeconomic. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Turin, New York University, and the Central Bank of Colombia. Dr. Hoffmann's primary research interests are in the fields of International Finance, Monetary Policy and Financial History.

Josephine Maltby, Professor at the Sheffield University Management School, in the United Kingdom, will cover the topic "Insurance and Investment: Savings Banks and Asset-based Welfare".

Speakers from overseas

Pui-Tak Lee, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hong-Kong, in China, will tell attendees about "Fishing in Troubled Water: Savings Business in China during the 1920s-1930s". He holds a master and doctoral degree in Asian History from the University of Tokyo and received the Toyota Foundation's Award on Chinese Business History in Asia in 2007. Dr. Pui-Tak Lee organized the Chinese Business History series for the Hong Kong University Press in 2009. He is currently working on two book projects, one on K. P Chen and the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank, 1915-1965, and the other one on The Chong Hing Bank in Hong Kong, 1947-2017.

Zeliha Sayar, from the Yildiz Technical University, in Turkey, will also bring examples from outside the Eurozone. She will discuss "The role of Low Interest Rates on preferences of Savings in Turkey".

Discussion and wrap-up

There will also be time for discussion among all participants. To conclude the workshop, Thorsten Wehber, Head of Documentation Center on Savings Banks History of the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV), will do the wrap-up. Thorsten has been in charge of DSGV's Documentation Center on Savings Banks History since 2002. He lectures at the University of Applied Sciences and the Management Academy of the Savings Banks Finance Group and chairs the Study Group on Savings Banks History.

>> See the event webpage for more information

>> Register now

Financial History