Open In App

Bank for International Settlements (BIS): Full Form, Role and Functions

Last Updated : 17 Jan, 2024
Like Article

What is Bank for International Settlements (BIS)?

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution that functions as a central bank for other central banks. It began operation in 1930 and is based in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS has an important role in developing international monetary and financial cooperation, as well as providing an opportunity for central banks and financial authorities to exchange information, communicate policy concerns, and make an effort for global financial system stability. It is often referred to as BIS. The full form of BIS is Bank for International Settlements.

History of Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was founded in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the war. The treaty placed huge monetary compensation and duties on Germany and other defeated countries, resulting in European economic and financial instability. The proposal of establishing an entity to promote coordination among central banks came up in response to the problems of post-war reconstruction and international monetary cooperation.

Here is a timeline of significant events in the BIS’s history:

1. 1919: At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the idea of an international financial institution to enhance collaboration among central banks was advocated.

2. 1930: On May 17, 1930, the Bank for International Settlements was created in Basel, Switzerland. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among its founding members. The purpose is to encourage monetary and financial stability while also serving as a forum for cooperation among central banks.

3. 1931: The global economic crisis worsens, and the BIS plays a role in coordinating international responses. It allows central bank interactions and agreements to stabilize exchange rates and address financial difficulties.

4. 1939 to 1945 (World War II): The BIS continues to function during the war but with constraints due to the political circumstances. During this time, its operations were reduced.

5. 1944: The Bretton Woods Conference created the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, laying the foundations for the postwar international monetary system. The BIS continues active but with a reduced role in comparison to its pre-war function.

6. 1950-1960s: The BIS refocuses its efforts on providing a forum for central banks to exchange information and collaborate on technical concerns such as banking laws and payment systems.

7. 1970s: The fall of the Bretton Woods system caused increasing currency rate volatility and economic challenges in the 1970s. The BIS encourages dialogue among central banks to address these concerns.

8. 1980s-1990s: The BIS expanded its role in promoting talks on financial stability, banking laws, and market developments during the 1980s and 1990s. It serves as a focal point for central banks to collaborate on monetary policy and financial stability issues.

9. 2000s: The BIS keeps expanding, undertaking research, promoting conferences, and providing a venue for central banks to discuss emerging global financial system problems.

10. 2007-08: The BIS is actively involved in investigating the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis that hit in 2007-2008. It highlights the relevance of stronger regulatory frameworks and improved risk-management strategies.

11. Current Scenario: The BIS is still a vital entity for central bank collaboration, analysis, and coordination on international monetary and financial issues. Its activities include research publications, seminars, and providing central banks with various types of financial services.

Throughout its existence, the BIS has responded to the changing dynamics of the global economic and financial system, playing a significant part in encouraging global cooperation in monetary policy, stability in the economy, and central bank cooperation.

Role of Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

As a unique international financial organization, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has an important influence on the global financial system. The BIS, which was founded in 1930, provides an environment for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the promotion of global monetary and financial stability among central banks and financial authorities. Its primary roles and responsibilities consist of:

1. It Promotes Central Bank Cooperation: The BIS provides an opportunity for central banks to interact and talk about issues of shared interest. On topics like monetary policy, financial stability, and regulatory frameworks, it offers a forum for discussion and collaboration.

2. It conducts Research and Analysis: The global economy, financial markets, and monetary policy are just a few of the issues that the BIS investigates and analyzes. It generates reports, working papers, and analyses to help in understanding patterns and issues in the economy and finance.

3. It Provides Financial Stability: The BIS evaluates and analyzes systemic risks and the global financial markets. It works to identify any potential flaws in the financial system and offers advice on the best courses of action to improve financial stability.

4. Coordination of International Financial Institutions: To guarantee consistency and unity in global financial policies and projects, the BIS works with other international financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

5. Financial Cooperation and Crisis Management: In order to resolve issues and restore stability during financial crises, the BIS can promote coordination and collaboration among central banks and international financial institutions.

6. Sharing of data: Central banks and other significant institutions can exchange economic and financial data through the BIS. It collects and distributes information that helps in making sound choices and formulating regulations.

Functions of Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) serves as a forum for financial institutions from many countries to come together and participate in discussions and collaborative efforts. They acquire knowledge about monetary issues, attentively monitor fiscal challenges, promote significant cross-border transactions, establish regulatory frameworks for financial institutions, compile important financial information, and engage in discussion about newly developed ideas such as digital money.

The following are the functions of BIS:

1. Conducting Monetary Policies and Economic Research: The BIS conducts economic and monetary research in order to better understand global economic trends, financial sector behavior, and monetary policy implications. It publishes reports, working papers, and investigations that contribute to the development of effective strategies.

2. Financial Stability Surveillance: The BIS monitors and evaluates global financial system changes, including the identification of potential risks and vulnerabilities that could affect financial stability. It provides analysis and recommendations for addressing these problems.

3. International Banking and Financial Transactions: The BIS provides central banks and international organisations with banking and financial services. It facilitates transactions for its member institutions and preserves their foreign exchange reserves. It also acts as a banker for central banks, enabling them to conduct financial transactions and operations.

4. Banking Standardisation and Regulation: The BIS sponsors a number of committees entrusted with developing and advocating international banking and financial regulation standards. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which develops rules and regulations to ensure the stability and integrity of the global banking system, is one of the most notable committees.

5. Financial Data and Statistics: The BIS develops and distributes a vast array of economic and financial data, thereby enhancing central bank and policymaker transparency and decision-making.

6. Analysis of Financial Markets: The BIS monitors and analyses global financial market advancements, including trends in foreign exchange, interest rates, and other financial instruments. This analysis aids central banks and financial institutions in comprehending market dynamics and making educated decisions.

7. Policy Collaboration and Crisis Management: During periods of financial crisis, the BIS can serve as a forum for collaborating policy responses. It facilitates communication and cooperation between central banks and international organisations to address global financial issues.

8. Host of International Meetings: The BIS hosts a number of international conferences, gatherings, and seminars that bring together policymakers, economists, and experts to discuss important topics influencing the global economy and financial system.

9. Facilitator of International Cooperation: The BIS encourages collaboration between central banks and financial authorities, aiding in the development of relationships and mutual comprehension between the financial systems of various nations.

In a nutshell, the Bank for International Settlements is essentially a center for international financial cooperation, research, analysis, and standard-setting. Its functions contribute to the global financial system’s stability, transparency, and efficiency.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads