ECB beats Bank of England and the Fed to win award for best web site

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The Independent Online

The European Central Bank may have taken a lot of flak over its control of macroeconomic policy, but least it knows how to run a good website.

The European Central Bank may have taken a lot of flak over its control of macroeconomic policy, but least it knows how to run a good website.

The ECB has beaten all the other central banks across the world - including the United States' Federal Reserve - to win an award for best website.

Next month the ECB will be allowed to indulge in a bit of self-congratulation when Gert Jan Hogeweg, the bank's director general of economics, comes to London to pick up the award.

The ECB has been criticised for allowing its key policymakers to issue contradictory signals over future economic policy.

The website rankings have been awarded by Lombard Street Research, the independent firm of economic forecasters headed by Tim Congdon, a former member of the panel of "wise men" advising the then Chancellor Kenneth Clarke.

The ECB's site - www.ecb.int - received a 91.6 per cent mark compared with 85.3 per cent for the Fed and 83.2 per cent for the Bank of England's site.

Gabriel Stein, a director of Lombard Street Research, said: "It is a pleasant site to look at, it contains a lot of information, it is easy to access and is well-constructed. It is well set out and has good reporting of speeches and press conferences."

The Fed lost marks because its server did not always perform correctly, while the Bank of England did not provide key information such as inflation, which instead appears on the website of the Office for National Statistics.

The ranking of national central banks was: 1 - ECB; 2 - Canada; 3 - Germany; 4 - United States; 5 - Netherlands; 6 - Korea; 7 - Bank of England.

The People's Bank of China took the wooden spoon.

Lombard Street Research, which is adding links to relevant central bank website pages to its own Internet service, said the competition would be an annual event.

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