The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international organization which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.

The BIS fulfils this mandate by acting as:

  • a forum to promote discussion and policy analysis among central banks and within the international financial community
  • a centre for economic and monetary research
  • a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions
  • agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations


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.

Established on 17 May 1930, the BIS is the world's oldest international financial organization.

The BIS international financial statistics are a unique source of information on various elements of the global financial system. They include data on:



The cross-border lending and borrowing of internationally active banks in key financial centres, including offshore centres



Issuing activity in international and domestic securities markets



Operations in over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivatives markets



Effective exchange rate (EER) indices for 58 economies



Operations in the global foreign exchange markets



External debt positions of individual countries based on BIS banking and securities statistics as well as on data from other international organisations



Payment and settlement systems in major financial centres

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which operates from the BIS, publishes data on the global reinsurance market.