Bank of Portugal

Located in Lisbon, the Bank of Portugal, otherwise known as Banco de Portugal in Portuguese has historically been the Central Bank of the country until 1999, when still acting as its own entity it joined Europe and began operating under the framework of the European System of Central Banks. Along with joining the European Union Portugal became part of the “Eurozone” or in other words it took on the Euro currency, allowing free trade between other participating European countries.

Portugal’s banking system was first set up on November 19, 1846 (it was only in the 70s that it became nationalized) and since then until 1999 had operated as a commercial and issuing bank. It played a big factor in the monetary and economic policies of the country, as well as the general economic stability of Portugal. After Portugal joined Europe in 1999 it was taken over by the European Central Bank, and although it still exists as its own right, many of its functions and operations are controlled and governed by the European Central Bank. The Portuguese Real and the Portuguese Escudo are the historical currencies of the country.

Vitor Constâncio, who was appointed governor of the central bank during the switch to Europe is by default a member of the European governing council, the big decision makers behind the Eurosystem, and therefore has a say and is advised on the best way to handle monetary policy in order to meet the needs of Portugal and that of Europe and its Euro currency.

As well as monetary policy the Bank of Portugal’s main roles include the printing and circulation of the money supply (in this case Euro coins and notes), the accurate collection and interpretation of financial data, keeping the general financial side of Portugal in a stable state and to oversee the country’s payment systems. It is responsible entirely for the supervision of the country’s banking system.

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