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What does the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel do?

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution that is based in Basel, Switzerland. It was founded in 1930 to facilitate international monetary cooperation and provide a forum for central banks to discuss issues of common concern.

The BIS has a number of functions and activities, including:

  1. Providing a forum for central banks to discuss monetary and financial stability issues and to cooperate on matters of common interest.
  2. Acting as a financial market infrastructure for central banks, providing services such as securities settlement and the provision of short-term liquidity to central banks.
  3. Conducting research on a wide range of monetary, financial, and economic issues, and providing data and analysis to support the work of central banks and other financial authorities.
  4. Providing a range of banking services to central banks, including foreign exchange and gold transactions, as well as other financial services such as securities custody and lending.

The BIS is owned by central banks and is not subject to the same regulations as commercial banks. It is considered to be a “central bank for central banks,” and its activities are focused on supporting the work of central banks and promoting international monetary and financial stability.

This page was last updated on January 3, 2023.