Effective communications crucial to safeguard financial stability in times of crisis

“Crisis communications is not a silver bullet,” said Rafiz Azuan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) in his closing remarks at the recently held webinar ‘Inter-agency Knowledge Sharing Session: Crisis Communications’.

“The most comprehensive crisis communications manual will not guarantee smooth sailing management of crisis; nor successful crisis resolution. However, it can provide a framework for decisions on communication measures and compel authorities to take prompt actions in the face of time pressures, uncertainty and information asymmetry,” he added.

The webinar held on 14 September 2021 discussed coordination arrangements for effective crisis communications to minimise adverse impact on financial stability. It was attended by more than 100 participants from PIDM, Bank Negara Malaysia, Ministry of Finance and invited observers from the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI).

Coordinated crisis communications is crucial to ensure that financial safety net players can respond quickly and cohesively in a crisis. Some key lessons from the webinar were:
  1. Consistent messaging and clear communications build stakeholder trust, particularly in a crisis.
  2. Specific concerns of different stakeholder groups need to be addressed separately, but the narrative has to be kept consistent for all.
  3. Experience shows that reactions from stakeholders were less severe if the actions taken were expected. Hence, management of stakeholder expectations is a key strategy in crisis communications.
Andrew Gracie, former Executive Director for Resolution at the Bank of England, moderated the sharing session. The discussion with speakers focused their respective jurisdictional experiences in coordinating communications during a crisis, the challenges faced and how they were managed, and lessons learned.

The September session followed an earlier knowledge sharing session in July on enhancing crisis readiness through simulation exercises. The two-series event hosted by PIDM is a part of year-long initiatives carefully planned to contribute towards PIDM's crisis preparedness, which is one of the three key strategic objectives for PIDM as outlined in its Corporate Plan 2021 - 2023.

Names of speakers:
  1. Jacques Botes, Head, Resolution Planning Division, South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
  2. João Marques, Head of Division, Resolution Department, Bank of Portugal.
  3. Professor Patrick Honohan, former Governor, Central Bank of Ireland.
  4. Atilla Arda, Senior Financial Sector Expert, Financial Crisis Preparedness and Readiness, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  5. Andrew Gracie, former Executive Director, Resolution, Bank of England.
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