The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the most significant forum for central bank cooperation, comprising central banks from 60 countries from around the world. The BIS was founded in May 1930.
The BIS operates as a type of information exchange hub, where the BIS member central banks exchange experience in areas related to financial market supervision and stability, foreign exchange reserves, monetary policy and other topical issues. The BIS also operates as "a central bank" of central banks, providing financial services both for central banks and certain international organisations.
Governors of the BIS member central banks meet at the Annual General Meetings hosted by the BIS. At these high-level meetings, decisions on distribution of BIS dividends and profit are taken and the BIS Annual Report is approved. These meetings serve also as a means for strengthening cooperation among central banks and facilitating discussions on globally significant issues related to economy, monetary policy and financial stability.
In addition, there are several BIS Committees, including the Committee on the Global Financial System, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics and the Markets Committee. The task of these Committees is to present recommendations for an improved central bank operation as regards the financial and payment systems policies within the mandate of central banks.
Latvijas Banka and the Bank for International Settlements
Latvijas Banka became a member of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in December 1930; however, in 1940, its participation in this international financial institution was suspended.
Latvijas Banka's membership in the institution was re-established in 1992. Currently, the Governor of Latvijas Banka takes part in the BIS Annual General Meetings. At expert level, the representatives of Latvijas Banka are involved in the Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics and expert discussions; they provide the BIS with macroeconomic data on Latvia on a regular basis. The representatives of Latvijas Banka also take part in the technical assistance programmes of the BIS, sharing Latvijas Banka's experience in the areas related to foreign exchange reserve management, human resources policy, monetary policy, public relations, payment systems, etc.