Falkengren won the award last year and tradition holds that the previous year’s winner gives a laudatory speech for the new winner, in this case Wolfgang Kirsch of DZ Bank, a leading cooperative bank in Germany.
Falkengren described Kirsch as a "true banker". “That is exactly what Europe needs. Banks that stay close to their customers, have a strong financial position and think and act long-term.”
Previous winners of the prestigious award include renowned financial profiles including Josef Ackermann of Deutsche Bank and Jean-Claude Trichet from the European Central Bank.
The award European Banker of the year is awarded by Group 20+1, a group of 20 leading financial journalists from publications including Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. The group was formed in 1993 on the initiative of German communications company Maleki Group.