SDR to replace gold franc at the BIS

10 March 2003

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today announced that the Special Drawing Right (SDR) would replace the gold franc as the Bank's unit of account as from 1 April 2003. This decision was made today at an Extraordinary General Meeting of member central banks of the BIS. The Bank also decided to take steps towards modernising its financial accounting and reporting practices.

Used by a number of international organisations, the SDR is an international unit of account defined by the IMF and based on a basket of major currencies. The gold franc has served as the unit of account for the BIS since its establishment in 1930.

Commenting on the change, Andrew Crockett, General Manager of the BIS, said: "I welcome the introduction of the SDR. Along with a strengthened accounting framework, it will assist in managing the Bank's operations and economic capital more efficiently and enhance the transparency of its accounts."

Mr Crockett added that the changes would not affect the fundamental nature of the BIS's banking activities and would not have any implication for its policy towards its holdings of gold.