The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has appointed heads at the BIS Innovation Hub’s centers in Singapore and Switzerland.

In a Feb. 19 announcement, the BIS revealed that Andrew McCormack — who currently serves as chief information officer at payment clearing and settlement firm Payments Canada — will now be the head of the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore. At the same time, Morten Bech, Head of Secretariat for the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) at BIS, will manage the Hub Centre in Switzerland.

Fostering cross-border cooperation on fintech

McCormack gained experience in policy and strategy with a focus on enterprise software design and development. Prior to joining the hub, he led blockchain research, alongside the Bank of Canada and industry.

Bech began working for BIS in mid-2011, where he held the position of Secretary to the Markets Committee before appointment to his current position at the bank. His professional background also includes positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Danish central bank.

BIS established the BIS Innovation Hub last November in an effort to foster international cooperation among central banks on innovative financial technology. Initially, the hub is set to operate in Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong, with plans for further expansion.

The launch announcement explained that “the Hub's mandate is to identify, and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking; develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system; and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.”

Focus on CBDC and DLT

Moreover, the Swiss center was initially set to focus on two research projects — integration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) into a distributed ledger technology infrastructure, and analysis of the rising requirements for tracking fast-paced electronic markets by central banks.

Indeed, BIS conducted CBDC research that by Jan. 23, revealed that only 10% of central banks are likely to issue a CBDC for the general public in the short term.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, BIS general manager Agustin Carstens expressed a negative stance toward CBDCs, claiming that they could facilitate a bank run and enable people to move their funds from commercial banks to central bank accounts faster, destabilizing the system.