Bank for International Settlements, BIS

The primary task of the BIS is to promote international monetary and financial cooperation. The bank is a forum for discussions on current economic and financial issues and other matters relevant to central banks and the financial sector.

The BIS conducts investigations in these areas and, within the framework of standard-setting committees such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, develops standards and norms for financial operations that have a significant impact worldwide. The BIS also runs banking and asset management operations on behalf of individual central banks. When necessary, the bank may transmit and, in some cases, contribute its own financial resources in international support operations.

The BIS is a limited company owned by some sixty central banks. The Riksbank has been a shareholder in the BIS since 1930 and has been represented on the Board since then, except for a few shorter periods. The bank’s head office is in Basel, Switzerland.

Brief history

The BIS was established by international treaty in 1930 to deal with the German reparation payments after the First World War. The bank subsequently played an operational role in the transfer of international payments and thus became a link between the financially dominant countries in the world even after the Second World War, before the currencies became convertible. BIS operations are now primarily characterised by cooperation to establish standards for sound financial operations, and the BIS provides the secretariat function for several international groupings in this area, such as the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision and the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

BIS Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the highest decision-making body for the management of the bank. Six central banks, which were involved in founding the BIS, have permanent seats on the Board.

BIS meeting activities

Every two months, central bank governors from BIS members convene for meetings in various configurations, including the Global Economy Meeting, Economic Consultative Meeting and the BIS Board of Directors. The composition of these groups varies. The membership of the Governor of the Riksbank in all of these groups provides highly valuable opportunities for discussion and cooperation with other central bank governors.

The BIS also organises a number of other meetings with central bank representatives at various levels. The Riksbank participates in around 25 committees and working groups within the BIS field of activities. The most important committees for the Riksbank’s participation are the BCBS, the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the Markets Committee (MC).

BIS Innovation Hub Nordic Centre

The BIS has decided to establish, in collaboration with the Riksbank and the central banks in Denmark, Iceland and Norway, a centre for innovation in Stockholm – BIS Innovation Hub Nordic Centre. This Nordic Innovation Centre will focus on a more in-depth analysis of technological financial innovation relevant to central banks.

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Updated 13/08/2021