What is Bank for International Settlements and How It Works?

by Arpita Wadhawan

Bank for International Settlements, also known as BIS is a financial institution which provides and monitors global funds and financial transaction. It is owned by central banks from across the world (several countries together form this organization), which provides international financial cooperation and serves as a bank.

This organization was created during World War I i.e. in 1930; it was created to monitor the collection, administration, and distribution of the financial and the non-financial services from Germany. BIS meetings are based on the representatives from each country and the headquarter for BIS is based in Basel, Switzerland and the representative offices are in Hong Kong and in Mexico City. More than 60 banks across the nations are part of the central bank which owns BIS.

Later, during World War II, BIS was developed to monitor or supervise the cross-border capital flows of the international banks, this was during the il and debt crisis. International banking laws were created especially for BIS as they are providing global financial and other services to various countries. This also helped them gain the official title of being an ‘Emergency Funder’ to the countries who are in financial trouble. They have helped many countries over the years, for example in 1982 BIS helped Mexico with their debt crisis and in 1998 BIS helped Brazil with their debt crisis.

IMF (International Monetary Fund) program was also introduced during this period where a country can take out loans to clear the debt crisis, but many countries similar to South Korea are still suffering from after-effects as the country has the highest unemployment rate. Many countries are still paying the loan taken from the IMF program, post the formation of IMF i.e. in 1945.

Over the years, BIS has promoted itself as a global financial institution and has adapted the dynamic changes in the economy of each country, therefore, BIS is able to review all international transactions across the nations. BIS is seen as the financial stabilizer for countries as it helps in handling global challenges and helps in increasing the prosperity of the country.

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