Bank for International Settlements
Bank for International Settlements

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Bank for International Settlements
  • The work and foundations of BIS
  • Governance
  • Central bank hub
  • Monetary and financial stability

The work and foundations of BIS

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) assists central banks in relation to monetary and financial stability. Its head office is in Basel, Switzerland, with two representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Established on 17 May 1930, BIS is the world's oldest international financial organisation and considers itself to be the principal centre for international central bank cooperation. It has its roots in settlement and administration of repatriation payments following the First World War, however, this role faded quickly. It has played a crucial role in periods of financial stability such as the oil and international debt crises. It is now well-known for its role in regulation of internationally active banks and laying down global measures for regulatory capital, known as the Basel Capital Accord. See Practice Notes: Basel Accord and Basel II—essentials for further information.

The work of BIS is set out in Article 3 of its Statutes:

  1. to promote the co-operation of central banks

  2. to provide additional facilities for international financial operations, and

  3. to act as trustee or agent in regard to international financial settlement.

Over 5,000 senior officials from central banks and supervisory agencies participate in meetings organised by BIS each year. The most important meetings are the meetings of Governors and senior officials of member central banks, which are held