Central Bank Governance Forum

Central Bank Governance Group

The Group serves as a venue for the exchange of views on matters of interest relating to the design and operation of central banks. The focus is on the institutional and organisational setting in which central banks pursue monetary and financial policies, not the policies themselves. The Group dates back to 1997 and meets as needed, normally at intervals between three and six months.

The group is currently chaired by Mr Stanley Fischer (Bank of Israel). Its members are Mr Agustín Carstens Carstens (Bank of Mexico), Mr Vitor Constâncio (European Central Bank), Mr Stefan Ingves (Sveriges Riksbank), Ms Gill Marcus (South African reserve Bank), Mr Duvvuri Subbarao (Reserve Bank of India), Ms Janet Yellen (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System), Ms Zeti Akhtar Aziz (Central Bank of Malaysia) and Mr Zhou Xiaochuan (People's Bank of China).

Central Bank Governance Network

The Network is an informal mechanism to facilitate the flow of information on central bank governance and organisational issues between central banks. It started operations in the autumn of 1999. About 47 central banks are currently represented on the network.

The BIS receives numerous requests from central banks for information on the governance and organisational arrangements of other central banks. The Network was established to help improve the efficiency and reduce the burden of information gathering in response to such information needs. Specialised surveys are conducted through Network members; tailor-made results can be provided quickly, in up-to-date form; and the information is retained in a central location for future use. The flow of requests provides an insight into the issues of current relevance for central banks, helping inform the Governance Group's deliberations when setting priorities for gathering and analysing information.

Electronic compendium on Central Bank Governance

Much of the central bank governance information that is available at the BIS can be accessed (by registered users) on the password-protected eBIS platform (https://www.ebis.org/). Central bank officers and staff are very welcome to register for this facility by completing a registration form, which may be requested by sending a brief e-mail to cbgovernance@bis.org.  

Illustrative list of issues addressed in the work on central bank governance

Legal foundations of the central bank; governance and accountability

  • Collection of central bank laws
  • Legal status, objectives and ownership of central banks
  • Various aspects of central bank independence and accountability
  • Central bank boards: role, composition, appointment mechanisms
  • External communications activities of central banks

Mandates and functions of central banks

  • Overview of functions and activities of central banks
  • Central bank functions, structure and processes

Governance-related aspects of monetary and exchange rate policy

  • The composition of monetary policy councils
  • Governance aspects of using an inflation target or objective
  • Involvement of central banks in exchange controls
  • Payment of interest on minimum reserve balances

Governance-related aspects of financial stability and supervisory responsibilities

  • Central bank involvement in safeguarding financial stability
  • How central banks use and obtain supervisory information
  • Direct costs of banking supervision and surveillance

Central bank balance sheet, reserves management

  • Balance sheet strength, profitability and central bank policy
  • Central banks' approaches to selected accounting and evaluation issues
  • Legal provisions on the transfer of central bank profits

Structure and organisation of the central bank

  • Organisation charts of central banks
  • Organisational change at central banks: areas of change, reasons for change, the management of change

Human resources and related issues

  • Central bank staff numbers
  • Central bank approaches to salary and compensation issues; salaries of central bank governors
  • Codes of conduct for central bank staff
  • Enhancing performance and improving efficiency at the central bank
  • Expenditures on staff training and development

Specific activities and internal services

  • Costs of managing the circulation of bank notes
  • Central bank practices concerning selected security aspects