Organization promoting international monetary and financial cooperation and serving as a bank for central banks. It is also a centre for economic and monetary research and has important trustee duties. As its customers are central banks and international organizations, the BIS does not accept deposits from, or provide financial services to, private individuals or corporate entities. It has its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and also has two representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.
BIS members are all central banks or monetary authorities (and all are entitled to be represented and vote in the general meetings). The bank is administered by a Board of Directors. There are six ex-officio directors, comprising the governors of the central banks of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK, as well as the chair of the board of governors of the US Federal Reserve system. Each ex-officio member may appoint another member of the same nationality.
There are also not more than nine elected governors on the board.
The BIS was established in 1930 to handle German reparations settlements from World War I. Its place in the international financial world was greatly restricted by the Bretton Woods Conference 1944 and superseded by the International Monetary Fund. Its liaising role among central banks has since become its primary function.
Bank for International Settlements
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