Banking Awareness : Bank for International Settlements


Bank for International Settlements

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) started in 1930 and is owned by the central banks of different countries. It serves as a bank for member central banks, and its role is to foster international monetary and financial stability and financial corporation. The Bank for International Settlements is based in Basel, Switzerland, and it operates representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Functions of the BIS

Some of the functions performed by the BIS include:

Lender of last resort

As a banker to central banks, the BIS provides a wide range of financial services to assist central banks and other monetary financial institutions in the management of foreign reserves. When central banks want immediate liquidity, it offers credit services, as well as buys back tradable financial instruments offered by these central banks. It also acts as a trustee in connection with international financial operations, which helps promote global financial and monetary stability.

Seminars and workshops

The BIS organizes workshops and seminars focused on international financial issues through the Financial Stability Institute (FSI). Through the FSI, the BIS popularizes the work undertaken by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, as well as its recommendations on the financial markets. FSI also organizes lectures and practical training on global financial stability. The meetings of central bank executives, specialists, economists, and supervisors contribute to international cooperation.

Research and statistics

The BIS publishes research and statistics on global banking, foreign exchange, financial market securities, and derivatives market. The information is shared across its member central banks to help in their functions and decision-making. The research is also published in the banks’ regular publications and external publications like academic journals. The research is conducted by the BIS’s staff, as well as researchers from its member central banks.


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