Head of US Federal Reserve has greatest impact on banking industry

21 February 2007

Bankersalmanac.com survey ranks most influential figures in global finance

Dr. Ben Bernanke has been cited as the most influential person in the banking industry, according to findings released today by Bankersalmanac.com. The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve claimed the majority of the votes in an open poll among employees at banks, financial institutions and corporates worldwide.

Commenting on why Dr. Bernanke, who also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee - the Reserve's principal monetary policymaking body - stood out in the industry, one of the respondents said: "He plays a key role in deciding to what extent the US banks will comply with Basel, which will have huge implications for banks right across the globe."

In the poll, which allowed respondents to name any one within the industry, Jean Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank, was also ranked highly. Other key figures in the top 5 were Emilio Botin, Chairman of Banco Santander Central Hispano, which acquired Abbey in 2004, Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of Governors of the US Federal Reserve who is now a voluntary advisor to the HM Treasury in the UK, and Prof. Muhammad Yunus, known as 'banker to the poor'.

Awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December 2006, Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in 1976 using his own money to provide loans to 42 poor people in Bangladesh. One of the borrowers was a woman who made bamboo stools at a profit of just two pennies a day. With the loan from Prof. Yunus, the woman was able to sell her products to the highest bidder and her profit rose to US$1.25 a day.

Kerry Hewson, Director at Bankersalmanac.com, said: "The results are quite insightful, particularly as we gave respondents free reign to choose their influential figure rather than providing a shortlist. America has a huge impact on the global banking arena, especially with regulation such as Basel II coming into force."

Bankersalmanac.com is a leading source of intelligent reference data for payments, compliance and risk assessment. The survey was conducted among a range of clients including banks, financial institutions and corporates worldwide.

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