The Bank for International Settlements proves to be the oldest entity in the world for international financial organization. Central banks of the world established this bank on May 17 of 1930. Today 60 different central banks are members of this bank of central banks. Their economies represent 95% of all the combined Gross Domestic Product of the globe.
This Bank for International Settlements is also known by its acronym the BIS. It has an elegant mission. The goals of this organization are to help out the member central banks as they seek out financial and monetary stability, to serve as the bank for central banks, and to promote international financial cooperation in achieving stability. World headquarters for the BIS are located in Basel, Switzerland. The group also maintains two other important representative regional offices. These are in Hong Kong the Special Administrative Region of China for Asia-Pacific and in Mexico City for the Americas.
The two regional representative offices are hubs for the various BIS activities. They work to encourage cooperation between the region’s central banks, supervisory authorities, and the BIS itself. This is why these offices promote data and information exchange, help to set up seminars and meetings, and provide information on the economic and financial research for the Americas and Asia.
Another important role of the Bank for International Settlements lies in its banking services. These two regional offices assist with delivering such services to the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Officers routinely visit the member central banks’ reserve managers as part of this mission. In its Asian office it maintains a treasury dealing room for the region that offers daily trading functions for regional central banks.
The BIS set up its regional Representative Office of the Americas back in November of 2002 in Mexico City. The goal was to increase the Americas regional activities of the bank in better coordination with the headquarters office in Switzerland. They also established the Consultative Council for the Americas back in May of 2008. This advising committee helps the board of directors for the BIS to better understand the issues in the Americas region. Members of this council include central bank governors from the Americas’ region member central banks. This includes the U.S., Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.
The bank founded its increasingly important regional Asian office on July 11 of 1998 in Hong Kong as the Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific. It acts as an area forum for economic and monetary research that is useful for the central banks and provides the regional central banks with the settlement and exchange banking services.
Improving cooperation among the various member central banks in the Asian region is another important function. This office also maintains the Asian Consultative Council. The group is comprised of central bank governors from the Asia-Pacific region member central banks. Its members include Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, China, and Australia.
The Bank for International Settlements is different from other banks in the world in several important aspects. All of its customers are either international organizations or central banks. They do not open accounts for international companies or private individuals. The BIS does not offer any financial or advisory services to any investors or corporations. It also does not take in deposits from or make loans to parties that are not central banks or international organizations. The bank does make some of its research available at no cost to companies and members of the public.