1929-1939

The BIS chronology chronicles the main events relevant to the history of the Bank for International Settlements since it was created in 1929-30. Major financial, monetary and world events that are not directly related to the BIS, but that have had an impact on it, are listed in italics.

 

1929
Feb-Jun    Committee of Experts (Young Committee) meets in Paris to discuss the German reparations question
7 Jun    Young Plan to deal with the German reparations question, is officially proposed; the plan includes the creation of an international bank for this purpose
31 Aug    First Hague Conference to discuss Young Plan proposals ends
3 Oct-13 Nov    Committee to elaborate the structure and statutes of the international bank - named Bank for International Settlements - meets in Baden-Baden, Germany (Comité d'Organisation de la Banque des Règlements Internationaux, or COBRI)
24 Oct    "Black Thursday" at the New York Stock Exchange (Wall Street crash)
      
1930    
20 Jan   Final Act, Second Hague Conference; Young Plan agreed
26-27 Feb   Central bank governors meet in Rome: official foundation of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), nomination of President and Board members
8 Mar   Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht resigns over the Young Plan
22-23 Apr   First unofficial meeting of the nominated Directors of the BIS in Basel
12 May   First official meeting of the BIS Board of Directors
17 May  

BIS opens doors for business in Basel: Gates W McGarrah, President; Leon Fraser, Alternate to the President; Pierre Quesnay, General Manager

20 May   Founding banks subscribe first share issue
24-25 Nov   Meeting of Committee of Exchange Experts at the BIS
     
1931    
Apr   BIS makes £3 000 000 advance to Bank of Spain to stabilise peseta
11 May   Austrian government announces Creditanstalt crisis
19 May   First Annual General meeting (AGM) of the BIS
30 May   BIS grants Sch.100 000 000 credit to Austrian National Bank
6 Jun   BIS advance of $5 000 000 to Hungarian National Bank
18-22 Jun   BIS syndicate credit of $ 10 000 000 to Hungarian National Bank
20 Jun   US government announces Hoover moratorium: one-year suspension of intergovernmental debts and reparations
26 Jun   BIS, with Bank of England, Bank of France, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, grant $100 000 000 credit to Reichsbank
8 Jul   Second BIS syndicate credit of $11 000 000 to Hungarian National Bank
20 Jul   BIS grants £150 000 credit to Bank of Danzig
20-23 Jul   London Conference on German financial crisis
31 Jul   BIS and Bank of France grant $3 000 000 credit to National Bank of Yugoslavia
8-18 Aug   Wiggin Committee inquiring into Germany's credit needs meets at the BIS in Basel
18 Aug   First German Standstill Agreement (freezing of short-term credit granted to Germany for six months from 1 September) agreed at the BIS
Sep   Per Jacobsson takes up position as BIS Economic Adviser
Sep   BIS appoints German Standstill Agreement Arbitration Committee: Wallenberg, McKittrick, and Urbig
21 Sep   United Kingdom suspends gold standard
Nov   Frère Plan for medium-term credits elaborated at the BIS
19 Nov   The German government requests that the Special Advisory Committee provided for the Young Plan be convened
7-23 Dec   Special Advisory Committee, or Beneduce Committee, meets at the BIS in Basel; its final report recognises Germany's incapacity to resume reparation transfers
     
1932    
1 Mar   Second German Standstill Agreement (one year)
Jul   Keynes-Henderson Plan proposes issue of an international note by the BIS
9 Jul   Lausanne Conference Agreement on suspension of reparations schedule (Young Plan) BIS invited to participate in Preparation Committee for a League of Nations' World Monetary and Economic Conference
11 Jul   BIS Board issues public statement advocating restoration of the gold standard
5-20 Sep   Stresa Conference for the economic reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe proposes establishment of a Monetary Normalisation Fund
Oct-Nov   Preparatory Committee for the World Monetary and Economic Conference meets in Geneva; Fraser, Trip, and Jacobsson represent BIS
     
1933    
Jan   League of Nations publishes agenda for the World Monetary and Economic Conference; BIS invited to designate two representatives to participate in the Conference in a consultative capacity
13 Apr   Full reimbursement closes Reichsbank emergency credit of 26 June 1931
19 Apr   United States officially suspends gold convertibility
8 May   Third BIS AGM; Leon Fraser succeeds Gates W McGarrah as President and Chairman of the BIS Board
5 Jun   BIS Board meeting adopts resolution calling for independent central banks as a prerequisite for reinstatement of gold standard
12 Jun   League of Nations' World Monetary and Economic Conference opens in London
3 Jul   Roosevelt's "bombshell" declaration sounds death knell for early dollar stabilisation. Formation of "gold bloc" announced: Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland participate
8 Jul   BIS President Fraser attends first meeting of "gold bloc" in Paris
Sep   Repayment in full of the BIS credit granted to the Austrian National Bank on 30 May 1931
     
1934    
31 Jan   US Gold Reserve Act fixes price of gold at $35 per ounce, with a 59% devaluation of the dollar against gold
Apr-May   Transfer Conference at the Reichsbank in Berlin to discuss reductions in Germany's long-term debt service
14 May   Fourth BIS AGM adopts resolution on the gold standard
14 Jun   German finance minister announces suspension of further payments through the BIS for service of Dawes and Young loans as from 1 July 1934
8 Oct   "Gold bloc" governors meet privately at the BIS in preparation of the Brussels conference
20 Oct   Conference of "gold bloc" representatives in Brussels confirms commitment to gold parity
     
1935    
11 Feb   Franco-German Saar Agreements signed at the BIS: final settlement of financial questions raised by the transfer of the Saar territory to Germany
1 Apr   First defection from the "gold bloc": Belgian franc devalues by 28%
1 May   Jan W Beijen (Beyen) takes office as alternate to the BIS President
13 May   Fifth BIS AGM; Leonardus J A Trip succeeds Fraser as President and Chairman of the BIS Board
30 Jun   Resignation of Fraser and McGarrah ends US representation on the BIS Board
     
1936    
13 Feb   BIS gives up discrimination against non-gold-standard currencies
30 Jul   Brussels Protocol signed by government representatives, giving effect to Art. X of the Hague Agreement protecting the BIS' property, assets, and deposits in time of peace or war
25 Sep   Tripartite Monetary Agreement between France, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced; France suspends gold convertibility (franc devalued); "gold bloc" collapses
     
1937    
Mar   BIS accepts trustee functions for the 4.5% French National Security Loan
3 May   Jan W Beijen (Beyen) succeeds Leonardus J A Trip as President of the BIS; Otto Niemeyer elected Chairman of the Board
8 Sep   BIS General Manager Pierre Quesnay dies in a drowning accident
Dec   BIS concludes agreement with Swiss National Bank on gold purchases at fixed prices
     
1938    
Jan   Publication of the "Van Zeeland Report" on the possibility of removing obstacles to trade
1 Jan   Roger Auboin takes office as new General Manager of the BIS
25 Jun   Following the liquidation of the Austrian National Bank, the 4 000 BIS shares held by that institution are re-registered in the name of the Reichsbank
Sep   War scare in Europe provokes a strong increase in central bank gold shipments from Europe to the United States organised by the BIS
     
1939    
21-24 Mar   BIS carries out transfer order of Czechoslovakian National Bank's gold reserves to Reichsbank account
12 Jun   BIS Board meeting: Thomas H McKittrick elected BIS President effective from 1 January 1940; discussion of legality of executing the Czechoslovakian gold transfer order
10 Jul   94th BIS Board meeting, last Board meeting until 9 December 1946: discussion on the Bank's investment policy
4 Sep   BIS suspends all new commercial credit operations
18 Dec   BIS notifies counterparties of "rules of neutral conduct"
1940-1949