Ben Fung

Director

Ben co-leads the Bank’s digital currency research initiative with Scott Hendry (FBD).  His current focus is studying the potential roles of the central bank in retail payments and, in particular, the issuance of central bank digital currency.

Contact

Director
Currency
Economic Research and Analysis

Bank of Canada
234 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

Curriculum vitae

Latest

Cashless Bank Branches in Canada

Staff Analytical Note 2019-29 Walter Engert, Ben Fung
Cashless or tellerless bank branches have proliferated in several countries in recent years. In a cashless bank branch, teller or counter services such as cash withdrawals, deposits and cheque-cashing are not available.

A Tale of Two Countries: Cash Demand in Canada and Sweden

Staff Discussion Paper 2019-7 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Björn Segendorf
Cash use for payments has been steadily decreasing in many countries, including Canada and Sweden. This might suggest an evolution toward a cashless society. But in Canada, cash in circulation relative to GDP has been stable for decades and has even increased in recent years. By contrast, the cash-to-GDP ratio in Sweden has been falling steadily. What has caused this difference? Are there lessons to be learned from comparing the Canadian and Swedish experiences?

Explaining Unusual Cash Patterns in 2018

Staff Analytical Note 2019-22 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Jozsef Molnar, Gradon Nicholls
There was an unusually large decline of bank notes in circulation in October 2018. Some have argued that this was due to the legalization of cannabis in Canada in mid-October.

Is a Cashless Society Problematic?

Staff Discussion Paper 2018-12 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Scott Hendry
The use of bank notes in Canada for payments has declined consistently for some time, and similar trends are evident in other countries. This has led some observers to predict a cashless society in the future.

Swedish Riksbank Notes and Enskilda Bank Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies

Staff Working Paper 2018-27 Ben Fung, Scott Hendry, Warren E. Weber
This paper examines the experience of Sweden with government notes and private bank notes to determine how well the Swedish experience corresponds to that of Canada and the United States. Sweden is important to study because it has had government notes in circulation for more than 350 years, and it had government notes before private bank notes.

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Other

Refereed Journals

Other publications

  • "Modelling Financial Channels for Monetary Policy Analysis."
    (with Ian Christensen and Césaire Meh) Bank of Canada Review (Autumn 2006)
  • "Yield and inflation differentials between Canada and the United States,"
    (with Eli Remolona). Proceedings of the Bank of Canada Conference on "Information in Financial Asset Prices." 1999.
  • "The stance of monetary policy"
    (with M. Yuan). Proceedings of the Bank of Canada Conference on "Money, Monetary Policy, and Transmission Mechanism." 2000.
  • "Composition of US Dollar foreign exchange reserves by instrument"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, November 2000, pp.59-60.
  • "How active are central banks in managing their US dollar reserve portfolios?"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, March 2001, pp.31-32.
  • "Analyzing the growth of Taiwanese deposits in foreign currency,"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, September 2001, pp. 49-56.
  • "China's Asset Management Corporations"
    (with G. Ma), Bank for International Settlements Working Paper, 115.
  • "A VAR analysis of the effects of monetary policy in East Asia",
    Bank for International Settlements Working Paper, 119.
  • "Public asset management companies in East Asia,"
    (with J. George, S. Hohl, and G. Ma), Financial Stability Institute Occasional Paper No. 3, February 2004

Education

  • Ph.D. (Economics), University of Western Ontario
  • B.Soc.Sc., M.Soc.Sc. (Economics), University of Hong Kong

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