Bank of Spain

Established in 1782 in the capital of Madrid the Bank of Spain is the national bank of the country and is a member of the European System of Central Banks - they joined the European Union and took on the Euro currency. The bank has €14,972 million in reserves. (Deposit holdings and cash held in bank vaults).

A lot of the bank’s policies and responsibilities have been handed over to the European System of Central Banks but their main functions include:

- Issuing legal Euro banknotes and coins, which include €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes – and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cent coins – as well as €1 and €2 coins.

- Keeping the stability of the financial system without succumbing to the pressures of the European Central Bank, nor ignoring the role of the European Central Bank.

- Monetary Policy: The Bank of Spain now implements the European ideal of monetary policy, of which the main purpose is to maintain price stability across European countries that use the Euro as a currency. This involves changing rates accordingly.

Spain has been credited for avoiding a major hit from the global downturn in the economy in 2008, due to its successful policies. These include setting aside the same amount of money against assets in off balance sheet vehicles as on balance sheet assets and the use of “dynamic provisioning” which means bank provisions are increased when lending is growing quickly.

As of February 2008, Spain has $20,606 million (US Dollar equivalent) in foreign exchange reserves and is 50th in the world. This is the amount of foreign money they hold in their bank for exchanging and trading currencies.

The regulation of domestic banks and the overseeing of payment systems are taken care of by the Governor, with a Sub Governor as backup. Below them are several counselors. Their role is to fulfill the banks responsibilities in a lawful manner.

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