Legal information - overview

The Bank for International Settlements opened for business on 17 May 1930 in Basel, Switzerland, where it still has its headquarters today. Since its founding, the BIS has established two representative offices: in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1998) and in Mexico City (2002).

The BIS was created at the Hague Conference that dealt with the issue of German war reparation payments arising from the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Besides the Agreement Approving the Experts' Plan adopted on 20 January 1930 by that Conference (see League of Nations, Treaty series, vol. 104, 1930, pp. 243-411), which refers to the constitution of the BIS, the key instruments creating the BIS were the following:

The Brussels Protocol (also available in French, German and Italian) relates to the BIS's immunities, including for assets deposited by the BIS with third parties. The Protocol was signed on 30 July 1936 by representatives of 16 governments (many more have acceded since).

The legal status of the BIS vis-à-vis the jurisdictions in which it is either headquartered or has a representative office is regulated by the:

All the above documents linked to on this page are collected in the BIS Basic texts (also available in French, German and Italian).

The BIS has also established, as a BIS office,