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Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the oldest international financial institution. It was originally established as a joint stock company in 1930 to administer the financial management of the Young Plan, established in relation to German war reconstruction obligations. The MNB has been a shareholder of the organisation ever since. The BIS’ capital is held by central banks only. The BIS currently has sixty member central banks all of which are entitled to be represented and vote in the General Meetings. Voting power is proportionate to the number of BIS shares issued in the country of each member represented at the meeting.

Through regular meetings of governors and experts of central banks, the organisation became an important forum for co-operation and exchanging information between central banks. Within the framework of international co-operation, the BIS conducts important research activities, collects a wide range of statistical data in the area of international finance, and gives its recommendations to the international financial community for further strengthening the international financial system. The BIS provides banking services to central banks, such as foreign reserve management and transactions involving gold. It also provides banking and fund management services for international financial institutions.

The BIS Executive Board meets bi-monthly, alongside with meetings of central bank governors of the G-10 countries and their committees. The Governor’s Meeting also takes place on these occasions, where governors of all BIS member countries are expected to participate. The Governor of the MNB attends the bi-monthly Governor’s Meetings regularly, where the most current issues of the international financial system are discussed. Experts of the MNB also participate in seminars and experts' meetings organised by the BIS.

The BIS collects a wide range of information mainly for central banks, but it also publishes this information on its website, e.g. financial statistical data, speeches of central bank representatives, working papers. The Central Bank Research Hub operated by the BIS is facilitating access to research publications from the community of central banks and international financial institutions.

The BIS hosts standing committees to support central banks, and authorities in charge of financial stability more generally, by providing background analysis and policy recommendations:

  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision: provides a forum for regular cooperation on banking supervisory matters. Its objective is to enhance understanding of key supervisory issues and improve the quality of banking supervision worldwide;
  • Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) contributes to strengthening the financial market infrastructure through promoting sound and efficient payment, clearing and settlement systems;
  • Committee on the Global Financial System: identifies and assesses potential sources of stress in global financial markets, to facilitate the understanding of the structural underpinnings of financial markets, and to promote improvements to the functioning and stability of these markets.

The BIS together with the Basel Committee established the Financial Stability Institute in 1999, which helps the work of the supervisory authorities and contributes to the stability of financial systems.