The budget expenses of the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) for 2024 are set to increase by 7.4 percent to €30.6 million. The upcoming year's budget includes a partial payment for the development costs of the digital euro.
Excluding the highly variable year-to-year expenses for cash, the budget stands at €28.9 million, marking a 9.8 percent increase compared to 2023, according to Viljar Rääsk, head of communication for Eesti Pank. The bank's core activities involve ensuring cash circulation and payments, economic and financial sector analysis, and compiling financial sector statistics. Key focus areas for 2024 include cybersecurity, preparedness for various crisis scenarios, and reducing the central bank's environmental footprint.
The largest software development project is ATLAS, a €1.2 million initiative for data processing and analysis in the statistics domain. This system will integrate different statistical outputs and automate the statistical compilation process. Another significant development includes the adoption of new risk management software for the central bank's financial assets, aiming for an optimal distribution of assets that yield stable long-term returns while considering expectations, risk tolerance, and other constraints.
The budget also allocates funds for the initial phase of the digital euro project, testing features like offline payments, potentially useful in emergencies. Additionally, the central bank will contribute to the next wave of a survey on household financial behavior and consumption habits, following the previous survey conducted in 2021 and presented in 2023.
Eesti Pank plans to invest €7 million in fixed assets in 2024. To manage energy and heating costs better, the bank will initiate a project to upgrade its quarter's ventilation system. Major real estate works include the renovation of the old bank operations hall (also known as the Pencil Hall) at Estonia puiestee 13 to create additional workspaces for the Financial Supervision Authority.
In 2024, the central bank's museum, opened in its current form in early 2012, will undergo reconstruction and be renamed "Rahamu." The renovation will revamp the permanent exhibition area and spaces designed for press conferences and presentations.
Eesti Pank is set to maintain a workforce equivalent to 241.3 full-time positions in 2024, consistent with 2023. The bank's personnel expenses will amount to €15.7 million in 2024, aiming to keep wages comparable to similar roles in the Tallinn financial sector, with which it primarily competes in the labor market.
Editor: Mari Peegel, Marcus Turovski