Central bank finances

BIS Papers No 71
April 2013

This paper looks at the relevance of a central bank's own finances for its policy work. Some central banks are exposed to significant financial risks, partly due to the environment in which they operate, and partly due to the nature of policy actions. While financial exposures and losses do not hamper central banks' operational capabilities, they may weaken the effectiveness of central bank policy transmission. Against this backdrop, the paper analyses the determinants of a central bank's financial position and the possible implications of insufficient financial resources for policymaking. It also provides a conceptual framework for considering the question of whether central banks have sufficient financial resources.

JEL classification: E58, E61, G01, M41