National Bank of Belgium

Located in the city of Brussels, the National Bank of Belgium, commonly referred to as the Nationale Bank van BelgiŽ (in Dutch), is as the name suggests, the national or central bank of the country of Belgium. Since Belgiumís joining of the European Union in 1999, the bank has been part of the European System of Central Banks (governed by the European Central Bank), as well as taking on the European currency of the Euro, otherwise known as being part of the Eurozone.

The banking system was first set up on May 5, 1850 and since then until 1999 had operated as an anonymous corporation and played a big factor in monetary and economic policies of the country, as well as the general economic stability of Belgium. After Belgium joined Europe in 1999 it was taken over by the European Central Bank, and although it still exists as its own entity many of its functions and operations are controlled and governed by the European Central Bank.

Guy Quaden, who was appointed governor of the central bank during the switch to Europe is an important member of the European governing council, and therefore has a say and is advised on the best way to handle monetary policy in order to meet the needs of Belgium and that of Europe and its Euro currency.

As well as monetary policy the National Bank of Belgiumís 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 Belgium in a stable state and to oversee the countryís payment systems.

Under its banking structure 50% of its stock remains with the Belgian government, whereas the other 50% is traded freely on Brusselsí exchange.

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