Background and Objective


The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution established on 17 May 1930, after World War I. Its primary role was to manage all issues relating to war indemnity, including collection and payment settlements (hence the name “Bank for International Settlements).

Once its various roles pertaining to war indemnity were concluded, the Bank for International Settlements has shifted its responsibilities to act as a central bank for central banks and international financial institutions through provision of financial services and products aimed at managing international reserves. Furthermore, the BIS also promotes cooperation and is an arena to exchange views among central banks and international financial organizations, as well as acting as a center for economic and financial research. Its headquarters is located in Basel, Switzerland, with 2 other offices in Hong Kong SAR and Mexico. 

BIS building

Key roles of the Bank for International Settlements


The Bank for International Settlements acts as a central bank for central banks and does not take deposits nor provide services to individuals or general organizations. The Bank for International Settlements have key roles as follows:

บทบาท BIS


2.1 Arena for Exchanges of Ideas and promote Central Bank Cooperation

The Bank for International Settlements hosts Bi-Monthly Meetings on issues relating to global economic conditions and financial market development. In addition to the Governors’ Meeting, the BIS also hosts seminars on topics of interest on monetary and financial institutions policies, to foster financial stability.

The BIS also has working committees that provide data support, policy recommendations, particularly on setting international standards in the following areas:


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)

Sets regulatory standards, such as Basel III, for commercial banks, as well as improving regulatory standards given current situations to protect financial stability.

The Committee on Global Financial Systems (CGFS)

Monitors and assesses financial market risks

The Markets Committee (MC)

Monitors global financial market conditions

The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI)

Sets Payment and Financial Infrastructure regulatory standards, as well as carries out activities to promote financial stability such as publication of the Red Book, collecting data and statistics relating to member countries’ financial transactions. 

The Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics (IFC)

Central Bank Statistics committee

Central Bank Governance Group (CBGG)

A venue for the exchange of views on matters relating to the organisational arrangements and operation of the central banks.


Furthermore, the BIS also promotes regional cooperation through 2 representative offices, one for Asia and the Pacific, located in Hongkong SAR and one for the Americas, located in Mexico. This includes the center of collaboration among central banks on supervision and financial stability through Financial Stability Institute (FSI)


2.2 Acting as a counterparty for central banks, via financial transactions with central banks and acting as a Trustee for transactions pertaining to other international financial organizations.

The BIS provides various services for central banks pertaining to international reserves management. It provides such services via 3 dealing rooms in its Basel headquarter and its offices in Hong Kong SAR and Mexico.


In addition to general services such as depository, the BIS also provides new financial products to increase returns on central banks’ international assets and acts as a representative in international reserves and gold transactions.


The BIS also acts as a fund manager for member central banks international reserves, either in the form of bilateral agreements between the BIS and respective central banks or open-ended funds.


Furthermore, the BIS also provides short term collateralized loans to central banks and help to coordinate emergency loans during a financial crisis.


2.3 Center for Economic and Financial Research

The BIS’s economic, financial, and legal research has supported various meetings and working committees. Furthermore, the BIS also provides central banks statistical data and publishes statistics on financial institutions, FX and derivatives markets.


2.4 Fostering innovation and knowledge-sharing

With the accelerating role of technology in the financial sector, the BIS enhances collaboration among central banks on innovation and socially-responsible risk management through the BIS innovation hubs which are located across global financial centers including Singapore, Switzerland, London, Stockholm (Nordic centre), Toronto, and Frankfurt/Paris (Eurosystem centre).

Organizational Structure


The BIS’s policy decision making process is dependent on 3 key management levels as follows: the Board of Directors, the General Meetings of member central banks and BIS Management, whereby the BIS Management makes decision on the BIS’s operations such as budget allocation, internal policies, and the BIS’s transactions.


At present, the BIS has 63 member central banks. Members have the right to participate in meetings and vote in the annual meeting, whereby voting rights are decided based on members’ shares. 

Relationship with Thailand


The BOT joined the BIS as a member in 2000, with 3000 shares. Afterwards, the BIS issued a policy to buy back shares from the private shareholders and allowed member central banks to purchase additional shares in proportion of their shares. In this regard, the BOT bought 211 additional shares in 2005, bringing the current amount of shares to 3,211, or 0.6% of total outstanding shares.  


As a shareholder, the BOT has been invited to join the Governors’ Bimonthly Meeting in Basel, where central banks across the globe exchange views and experiences on policy implementation, challenges and policies that will impact various countries and financial markets. The meeting also monitors new issues that will impact economies and financial systems such as benefits and risks of utilizing financial technologies (fintech). Furthermore, the meeting also serves as a channel through which the BOT expresses views and concerns  to central banks from major economies and standard-setting bodies over various policies and regulatory measures. 


In addition, the BIS also holds meetings for experts in various areas in order to promote financial system resilience such as legal issues, international reserves management, information technology systems, governance, internal audit, and technical cooperation. Other than participants from central banks, the BIS also invite high level executives and experts from various organizations as well. 


In the past, the BOT had sent its staff to participate in the Research Network & Research Fellow to foster relationships via a network of leading researchers and academics across the world. The BOT sent Thai researchers to Switzerland and Hong Kong to develop technical skills and foster macro-financial knowledge, as well as encourage researchers to participate in BIS workshops and seminars to enhance their academic knowledge. 


Additional information can be found at

Additional Information
International Financial Organization Team, International Department, Corporate Relations Group