Organisation and governance - overview


At the end of the 2016/17 financial year, the BIS employed 633 staff members from 61 countries.

It is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and has three main departments. Two departments encompass the two principal activities of the BIS - policy analysis and banking - and the third provides general internal support (organisation chart):

  • Monetary and Economic Department: Undertakes research and analysis to shape the understanding of policy issues concerning central banks, provides committee support and organises key meetings of senior central bankers and other officials in charge of financial stability. In addition, the department collects, analyses and disseminates statistical information on the international financial system.
  • Banking Department: Provides a range of financial services to support central banks in the management of their foreign exchange and gold reserves and invests the equity of the BIS. 
  • General Secretariat: Provides the entire organisation with comprehensive corporate services, including human resources, facilities management, security, finance, communications and IT. 

These departments are further supported by the Legal Service, the Risk Management unit, the Internal Audit unit, and the Compliance unit. 

Furthermore, the BIS's Financial Stability Institute facilitates the dissemination of the standard-setting bodies' work (see below under Governance of the BIS-hosted committees) to central banks and financial sector supervisory and regulatory agencies.

The BIS also has two regional offices:

Governance of the BIS

The governance of the Bank is determined by its Statutes, which were last revised in November 2016.

The governance and management of the Bank are conducted at three principal levels:

At each of these levels, governance is exercised and management decisions are taken on the BIS's cooperative activities, the policy analysis in support of monetary and financial stability, banking operations and the internal allocation of resources throughout the BIS.

Governance of the BIS-hosted committees

The BIS hosts nine committees and groups, which are all part of the Basel Process.

The Global Economy Meeting (GEM)1 provides guidance to three central bank committees:

The GEM oversees the organisation of these committees and appoints the chairs; receives reports from the committees and decides on publication; and provides guidance on work priorities. A smaller group of central bank Governors in the Economic Consultative Committee (ECC)2 supports the GEM by preparing proposals for discussion and decision by the GEM.

The All Governors' Meeting3 oversees the work of two groups whose membership is broader than that of the GEM:

The Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), which consists of the central bank Governors and non-central bank heads of supervision from BCBS member jurisdictions, oversees the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), which is the primary international standard-setting body for banking regulation and supervision.

The other groups participating in the Basel Process each have a separate legal identity and their own governance arrangements:

  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB) seeks to enhance global financial stability by developing policies and coordinating the work of national financial authorities and international standard-setting bodies. It operates under a mandate from the G20 heads of state and government.
  • The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) is the international standard-setting body for the supervision of the insurance sector. Its membership of insurance supervisors and regulators come from about 140 jurisdictions.
  • The International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) provides guidance on creating and maintaining effective deposit insurance systems. Its members represent deposit insurance agencies from more than 70 jurisdictions.

Several groups that are part of the Basel Process set international standards, which have to be adopted nationally according to national legal arrangements and processes to become binding.

1 The members of the GEM are from the central banks of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States and also the ECB. The observers are from the central banks of Algeria, Austria, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.

2 The ECC includes all Governors participating in the Board Meeting, and the BIS General Manager.

3 The All Governors' Meeting includes all 60 BIS member central banks.