Austrian National Bank

Located in Vienna, the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, abbreviated OeNB), often called the National Bank of Austria is, as the name suggests, the main central bank of the country. Since the Republic of Austria’s joining of the European Union, the bank has been part of the European System of Central Banks, as well as taking on the European currency of the Euro.

Established on June 1, 1816, the bank has been the dominant factor in the monetary and economic policies of the country and remained independently stable as a stock corporation until 1999 when it was taken over by the European Central Bank after Austria joined Europe. The bank still exists as its own entity but many of its functions and operations are controlled and governed by the European Central Bank. The bank’s Governor, although not obliged, is expected to make informed monetary policy decisions based on the information provided by Europe.

Under its stock corporation and central banking structure half of the bank’s roughly 12 million (Euro) capital funds are owned by investors, insurance companies, banks and employer and employee organizations, whilst the other half is held by the Austrian government.

The Austrian National Bank’s primary roles are to help keep a stable money system, promote an effective monetary policy within the realms of the Euro currency, to oversee the country’s payment systems, to keep fraud and counterfeiting to an unaffecting minimum and to keep general financial stability in the country. It is also the bank’s duty to hold assets and reserves to promote the overall stability of the Euro should it fall in to crisis.

The current president of the Austrian National Bank is Herbert Schimetschek, who was appointed in September, 2003.
In 2007 the bank sold a majority shareholding of its “Austria Card” subsidiary to Lykos.

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