The central bank community

From its establishment in 1930, the BIS has been the prime meeting place for central bankers. Today, the BIS has 63 shareholding member central banks, who collectively hold all the votes at the Bank's Annual General Meeting. This timeline lists the main events in the BIS's institutional history, and shows how it grew from a predominantly European organisation into a truly global one.

1870 – 1929
On 28 June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed at the eponymous palace near Paris, in the Hall of Mirrors. It brought the First World War formally to an end and imposed a heavy reparations burden on Germany. The reparations issue was a major source of contention between the Great Powers throughout the 1920s.
During the gold standard era, central banks cooperated sporadically in times of crisis.
1929 – 1930
The BIS finds its home in the former Savoy Hôtel de l'Univers opposite the central railway station in Basel. The Bank will remain in this neoclassical building until the mid-1970s.
Central banks institutionalise their cooperation by setting up the BIS in 1930.
1931 – 1945
A BIS Board of Directors meeting in Basel, 1931.
Stalled cooperation during the Great Depression and the Second World War.
1946 – 1958
Participants in the BIS Annual General Meeting pose in front of the Schützenhaus Restaurant in Basel, May 1948.
The BIS and central bank cooperation within Europe.
1958 – 1973
Michael Dealtry (BIS), Leslie O'Brien (Bank of England) and Otmar Emminger (Bundesbank) in discussion during a BIS meeting, 1970s.
The BIS and transatlantic cooperation in support of Bretton Woods.
1973 – 1993
Construction of the BIS Tower, the Bank's new offices, designed by Basel architect Martin Burckhardt, starts in 1972 and is completed in 1977.
The end of Bretton Woods and the dawn of European monetary unification.
1994 – 2020
The BIS Board of Directors gathered in Basel, January 2020.
The BIS as a global central bank organisation.