The Central Banking Awards 2020 features 26 categories (see below), with 13 central bank categories and 13 market practitioner categories. For more information about entering, please visit how to enter.


Central bank categories

Central Bank of the Year

  • Authority and integrity
  • Fulfilment of mandate
  • Pioneering work and policy innovation

This award will recognise a central bank that has demonstrated significant resolve and authority in fulfilling its mandate. Particular attention will be paid to details of pioneering policy efforts and powerful communication supporting the central bank's position.


Governor of the Year

  • Leadership and credibility
  • Innovation and change management
  • Problem solving and performance

This award will recognise the governor of a central bank who has demonstrated strong leadership during the period under review. Judges will be looking for examples of the innovation and change management that have resulted in significant problems being addressed.


Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Pioneering work
  • Reshaping the central banking landscape
  • Outstanding public service

Awarded to an exceptional leader, this award will recognise someone who’s pioneering work in central banking and career in public service has left an indelible mark on the central banking community.


Economics in Central Banking

  • Originality
  • Clarity 
  • Relevance to policymaking

This award will be given to the author(s) of the speech, paper, report, presentation or other media that the judges feel makes the most significant contribution to economics within the field of central banking. Contribution will be judged on originality, relevance and clarity.


Transparency Award

  • Communication across platforms
  • Targeting full range of stakeholders
  • Education

This award will recognise a central bank that has shown significant improvement and/or significant leadership in clear communication across its internal and external platforms. The winning organisation will have demonstrated strong improvements in transparency to its full range of stakeholders.


Reserve Management Initiative

  • Safety, liquidity, return
  • Innovation
  • Governance

The winner of this award will have shown excellence in reserve management at a central bank through a new initiative. This could include divisional changes, updated policy guidelines, an improved asset and liability framework or the deployment of innovative reserves strategies, such investment in a new asset class/ use of new benchmarks.


Currency Manager

  • Security and integrity
  • Innovation and design flair
  • Effectiveness and efficiency

This award will acknowledge a central bank which has either made improvements to its cash management processes, launched or upgrades its banknote series, implemented fraud prevention activities, as well as concept and design innovation. 


Risk Manager

  • Evidence of risk culture
  • Risk management framework 
  • Improved operations

This award will recognise a central bank that has demonstrated excellence in risk management, where qualitative and quantitative risk assessments are made across areas such as credit, market, operational and reputational risk management throughout the organisation. The judges will also be looking for evidence of how central bank's activities have changed as a result of improvements in risk management.


Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building – New!

  • Personal integrity and determination
  • Capacity building
  • Impact on civil society

This award recognises the extraordinary contribution of one individual/s in re-establishing or significantly reforming the capabilities and governance of central banks in countries that have suffered from large-scale governance problems, state failure and/ or conflict. The award could go to external experts and/or central bankers.


Financial Inclusion Initiative – New!

  • Extending finance to the masses
  • Innovation
  • Improving monetary policy transmission

Judges will be looking for a central bank which has launched a programme or product to improve the levels of financial inclusion within its respective country. Judges will be looking for improved inclusion figures to support the entry.


Payments and Market Infrastructure Development – New!

  • Integrity and resiliency
  • Efficiency and effectiveness
  • Technology innovation

This award will recognise a central bank that has played a key role in the implementation of a best practice payments and/ or market infrastructure initiative. Judges will be looking to ensure the infrastructure meets a public need in a rigorous and cost-effective manner, possibly deploying new technology.



  • Accessibility of information
  • Navigation and design
  • Interactivity and innovation

This award will recognise a central bank's website that encompasses true accessibility to its information and data for a range of stakeholders. Judges will be looking for examples of excellence in navigation and design as well as elements of innovation in conveying information.


Initiative of the Year

  • Ambition and innovation
  • Quality of stakeholder feedback
  • Mandate relevance

The award will be given for a specific central bank initiative or policy which connects with new stakeholders through innovative delivery and execution. Particular attention will be given to novel, impactful launches and the feedback received from the community.


Market practitioner categories

Asset Manager

  • Risk/return and liquidity suitability 
  • Diversification 
  • Benchmarking / benchmark outperformance

This award will be given to an asset manager who has added value in managing the investment assets of central banks and other sovereign investors. While geographical reach and breadth of assets coverage are important, particular attention will be made to asset managers that have met the real needs of their clients during the period under review.


Innovation in Reserve Management Award

  • Pioneering work
  • Excellence in implementation
  • Sound risk/ return assessment

This award will be given to an institution that has pioneered innovation in sovereign investment management. The award could be given for a specific transaction or client portfolio, or for thought leadership that has effected change. The judges will be looking for specific instances of excellence and not necessary breadth of service offering.


Custody Initiative

  • Asset servicing
  • Customer service 
  • Innovation and change

This award will recognise a custodian or securities depository that has implemented an initiative that addresses the challenges of sovereign customers in the area of asset servicing. Judges will expect a case study that is verifiable with a sovereign client.


Specialised Lending Initiative

  • Innovation
  • Risk management
  • Performance enhancement

Eligible initiatives could include the full gamut of lending activities – from reserves financing through to 3rd party securities lending. Innovation, quality of service and risk management considerations will be assessed by the judges. A case study and official institution client validation is expected.


Global Markets – New!

  • Innovation
  • Market access
  • Advice

This award will be given to a banking and global markets counterparty that has made an exceptional effort to address the challenges of central bank and other official institutions clients. Idea generation, product range, execution and access to new markets will be important considerations in the judging criteria.


Currency Services

  • Reliability 
  • Fraud/ cost reduction
  • Innovation

This award will be given to a banknote and currency services provider which has worked with central bank clients to significantly improve their currency offerings. Particular attention will be given to innovations that have helped to reduce fraud and cut overall costs related to currency operations. This year we will also be looking for providers helping central banks adapt to a world where the future of cash is up for debate.  


Currency Innovation – New!

  • Idea generation
  • Project implementation 
  • Client benefits

This is a broad category aimed at recognising innovation in currency management. This could be in the area of fraud prevention and/ or security, substrate innovation, currency analytics, design or communications. A case study and central bank verification is expected.


Risk Management Technology

  • Customisation to client needs
  • Change management
  • Results and performance

Awarded to a risk management services provider that has made a significant contribution to aiding the management of risk, the winner of this award will have paid particular attention to design and implementation, systems integration, tools and controls, models, governance and customer service.


Data Services – New!

  • Capacity and streamlining
  • Structuring and usability
  • Platform robustness and security

The award will be given to a data services provider that has helped central bank clients to meet the management of their data requirements – whether in the areas of big data, monetary policy, financial stability and/ or regulatory data, using cloud-based or other solutions.  Case study/ies are expected. 


Treasury Systems Initiative – New!

  • Innovation
  • Technology savvy
  • Implementation

This award will recognise a market practitioner's collaboration to offer an excellent new treasury technology service to a central bank client. A case study with official client verification is expected.


Financial Market Infrastructure Services

  • Adaptability to market and/or regulatory change
  • Regulatory acceptance and market adoption
  • Efficiency and robustness of platform

The award will be given to a financial market infrastructure provider that has made a significant contribution to improving efficiency and reducing risk in the financial system. Judges will be looking for a provider that offers a robust platform and technological innovation. A proven case study or studies are expected.


Advisory Services

  • Depth of knowledge
  • Innovation and change
  • Deliverability

This award will be given to an organisation that has offered consultancy and/ or advisory services to central banks that has resulted in substantial changes in behaviour at their clients. This could be in specific segments of activity tied to major transformations. Judges will be looking for case studies and validation from central banks.


Professional Services Initiative – New!

  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Governance

This award will be given to a professional services firms, such as a lawfirm, auditor or industry association, that has made an important contribution to central bank governance and/ or operations during the year in review.