Bank for International Settlements


Bank for International Settlements
= BIS
An international bank that fosters cooperation among central banks and other agencies in pursuit of monetary and financial stability. The BIS was originally established in 1930 as a financial institution to coordinate the payment of war reparations between European central banks. It was hoped that the BIS, with headquarters in Basle, would develop into a European central bank but many of its functions were taken over by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after World War II. Since then the BIS has fulfilled several roles including acting as a trustee and agent for such international groups as the OECD, the European Monetary System, and the IMF. The frequent meetings of the BIS directors have been a useful means of cooperation between central banks, especially in combating short-term speculative monetary movements. The BIS also sets capital adequacy ratios for banks in European countries. The original members were France, Belgium, West Germany, Italy, and the UK but now most European central banks are represented as well as the USA, Canada, and Japan. The London agent is the Bank of England, whose governor is a member of the board of directors of the BIS.

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