Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was established on 17 May 1930. The head office is in Basel, Switzerland and there are two representative offices: in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and in Mexico City.
BIS is the world’s oldest international financial organisation. It has 60 member central banks, representing countries from around the world that together make up about 95% of world GDP.
General manager: Agustín Guillermo Carstens, commonly known as Agustín Carstens is the current General Manager(GM) of the BIS since 2017 for a 5 year tenure.
Chairperson: Jens Weidmann.
Chief representative of India and Pacific: Siddharth Tiwari (India) became Chief Representative of the BIS Office for Asia and the Pacific on 1 November 2018.
Mission: The mission of the BIS is to serve all the member central banks in their monetary and financial stability, to maintain international cooperation between banks and to act as a bank for central banks.
How BIS works to achieve its mission?
- discusses and facilitates collaboration among central banks;
- supports dialogue with other authorities that are responsible for promoting financial stability;
- carries out research and policy analysis on issues of relevance for monetary and financial stability;
- acts as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; and
- serves as an agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations.
With regard to its banking activities, the customers of the BIS are central banks and international organisations. As a bank, the BIS does not accept deposits from, or provide financial services to, private individuals or corporate entities. The BIS board meets at least six times a year.
BIS has a Basel Committee which provides a forum for cooperation on banking supervisory matters. Basel Committee develops the Basel norms on Banking Supervision, to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of the banking sector.
In 2015, the then RBI governor Raghuram Rajan was appointed as the vice-chairman of BIS for a three year tenure. He was the first central banker from India to become vice-chairman of the board at BIS. Previously in 2007, Former RBI Governor Y V Reddy was appointed as chairman of BIS Asian Consultative Council.