England, Bank of
The Bank of England was incorporated by act of Parliament in 1694 with the immediate purpose of raising funds to allow the English government to wage war against France in the Low Countries (see). A royal allowed the bank to operate as a joint-stock bank with limited liability. No other joint-stock banks were permitted in England and Wales until 1826. This special status and its position as the government's banker gave the bank considerable competitive advantages.
The bank was located first in Mercers' Hall and then in Grocers' Hall, but it was moved to its permanent location on Threadneedle Street in the 1730s. By that time it had become the largest and most prestigious financial institution in England, and its bank notes were widely circulated. As a result, it became banker to other banks, which, by maintaining balances with the Bank of England, could settle debts among themselves. The bank was threatened by the economic instability that accompanied the, but its standing was also considerably enhanced by its actions in raising funds for Britain's involvement in those conflicts.
During the 19th century the bank gradually assumed the responsibilities of a central bank. In 1833 it began to print legal tender, and it undertook the roles of lender of last resort and guardian of the nation's gold reserves in the following few decades.
The bank was privately owned until 1946, when it was nationalized. It funds public borrowing, issues bank notes, and manages the country's gold and foreign exchange reserves. It is an important adviser to the government on monetary policy and is largely responsible for implementing the chosen policy by its dealings in the money, bond, and foreign exchange markets. The bank's freedom of action in this regard was considerably enhanced when it was given the power to determine short-term interest rates in 1997
Colonial Office in the Bank of England,
unsigned watercolour by one of Sir John Soane's draftsmen, c. 1818;
in Sir John Soane's Museum, London.
By courtesy of the trustees of Sir John Soane's Museum, London; photograph, R.B. Fleming
The Bank of Russia.
The tasks and functions of the Bank of Russia are set by the
Constitution of the Russian Federation and Federal Law on the Central
Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). The Bank of Russia’s
main objective is to protect the rouble and ensure its stability. The
Bank of Russia is also the sole issuing centre and the body of
banking regulation and supervision. Its main functions are formulated
in Article 4 of the Federal Law on the Central Bank:
- in collaboration with the government of the Russian Federation, it elaborates and implements a uniform national monetary policy designed to protect the rouble and ensure its stability;
- it is the only issuer of cash and the organiser of its circulation;
- it is the creditor of last resort for credit organisations and organises the refinancing system;
- it sets the settlement rules of the Russian Federation;
- it sets the rules of conducting banking operations and accounting and the reporting rules for the banking system;
- it conducts state registration of credit organisations and issues and revokes the licences of credit organisations and the organisations that audit them;
- it supervises the activities of credit organisations;
- it registers the issue of securities by credit organisations in accordance with federal laws;
- it conducts, on its own behalf or on behalf of the government of the Russian Federation, all kinds of banking operations necessary for the Central Bank’s implementation of its main duties;
- it conducts foreign exchange regulation, including operations to buy and sell foreign exchange, and establishes the procedure for effecting settlements with foreign countries;
- it organises and exercises foreign exchange control on its own and through authorised banks in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation;
- it participates in making Russian Federation balance of payments forecasts and organises the drafting of the Russian Federation’s balance of payments;
- it analyses and forecasts the state of the Russian Federation’s economy as a whole and by region, concerning specifically monetary, credit, foreign exchange, financial and price relations, publishes the corresponding materials and statistical data and performs other functions in accordance with federal laws.
The Bank of Russia co-ordinates and regulates settlement relations in Russia and establishes the rules, forms, deadlines and standards for non-cash settlements obligatory for all legal entities and natural persons. The forms of non-cash settlements are determined by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.
The principal forms of non-cash settlements today are payment orders and, to a lesser extent, payment requests (for collection). Letters of credit and cheques are used on a small scale.
A part of settlements is effected by legal entities and private individuals using payment cards, which are gaining ever wider acceptance.
The Bank of Russia is making efforts to ensure the effective and uninterrupted functioning of the settlements system and enhance its reliability.
Non-cash settlements are effectuated through correspondent accounts opened with the Bank of Russia, correspondent accounts opened by credit institutions with one another, correspondent accounts opened with non-bank settlement credit institutions and through the system ofintrabank settlements, using inter-branch settlement accounts.
Russian legislation accords the Bank of Russia a special place in the country's payments system. The Bank of Russia not only ensures general guidance of the payments system and provides the methodology and organisation of settlements, but also directly participates in this system, effecting interbank settlements through its divisions.
The payments made through the Bank of Russia settlement network account for a large part of the payments turnover.
Every participant in the settlements effected through the Bank of Russia settlement network is awarded an identification code. The Bank of Russia keeps the Russian Federation Bank Identification Code Directory (BIC Directory), which contains the following data: the name of each credit institution participating in settlements and its bank identification code, correspondent account with the Bank of Russia and domicile.
The BIC Directory is regularly reviewed and updated.
The credit institutions located in the Russian Federation (resident credit institutions) and having the banking licence of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation open only one correspondent account with one of the Bank of Russia institutions (a cash settlement centre or operations department), which services them. The branches of credit institutions may have correspondent subaccounts to implement settlements and may not have such accounts. If they don't, they effect settlements through the correspondent account of their parent organisation or the subaccount of another branch.
Overall, the Russian payments system comprises about 1,400 resident credit institutions, more than 4,000 branches of credit institutions and nearly 1,200 subdivisions of the settlement system and it is the principal means of implementing the official monetary policy by the Bank of Russia.
Non-cash settlements of clients of credit institutions and their branches are effected from the bank accounts opened with these institutions. In special cases, stipulated by the law, legal entities may have accounts opened with Bank of Russia institutions.
Credit institutions and their branches with correspondent accounts and subaccounts with the Bank of Russia effect settlements for their clients for commodities, works and services and make tax and other compulsory payments and their own income payments to the budget and payments to the accounts of state extrabudgetary funds through the various divisions of the Bank of Russia settlement network.
As for the settlements between clients of one credit institution (branch), they are effected by writing off or entering funds to the clients' corresponding accounts, bypassing the correspondent account of the credit institution (or its branch's subaccount) opened with a Bank of Russia institution.
Settlements between the cash settlement centres of the regional divisions of the Bank of Russia, serviced by a single computer centre, on transactions of credit institutions (or their branches) and on their own transactions are effected through the accounts opened specially for this purpose.
The correctness of settlements effected by the cash settlement centres is confirmed by the concurrence of the initial and reply turnovers in the process of confirmation, that is by comparing each reply entry with the initial one.
Payments are effected if there are funds in the correspondent accounts of credit institutions or subaccounts of their branches and within the amount of these funds. If a credit institution (or its branch) has not enough funds to meet all claims made on it, funds are written down from its correspondent account or from the subaccount of its branch to effect payments for its clients and its own payments in the order established by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. In this case, documents are put into the file of unpaid settlement documents, attached to the correspondent account of the credit institution or the subaccount of its branch.
Settlements effected through the Bank of Russia settlement network are based not only on paper, but also electronic payment documents. These are the so-called intra- and interregional electronic settlements. The latter are regulated by the Provisions on Inter-Regional Electronic Settlements Effected through the Bank of Russia Settlement Network. The exchange of electronic documents through the Bank of Russia settlement network is regulated by the Provision on the Rules of Exchange of Electronic Documents between the Bank of Russia, Credit Institutions (Branches) and Other Clients of the Bank of Russia in Effecting Settlements through the Bank of Russia Settlement Network, adopted in March 1998.
The divisions of the Bank of Russia settlement network participate in electronic settlements as the bodies registering and supervising payments.
Credit institutions, their branches and other clients of the Bank of Russia that have correspondent or other accounts with the divisions of the Bank of Russia settlement network may use electronic settlements. This helps accelerate money turnover and reduce the amount of funds in settlements.
The term "electronic payment document" (EPD) is used in effecting electronic settlements in the Bank of Russia settlement network. The EPD is a document that serves as a legal basis for conducting operations with the accounts of credit institutions (branches) and other clients of the Bank of Russia, opened with a Bank of Russia institution, bearing an electronic digital signature and having equal legal force, stipulated in an agreement with the Bank of Russia, with paper based payment documents signed by the authorised persons with their own hand and stamped.
At present the electronic payment documents presented for execution to a Bank of Russia institution must contain the requisites in accordance with which operations with accounts are conducted. Two kinds of EPD may be exchanged:
—full-format EPD containing all requisites of a payment document, including textual requisites;
-abndged-format EPD containing the requisites necessary for conducting operations with accounts in a Bank of Russia institution.
The transfer of funds using fall-format EPD does not require accompanying payment documents on paper, while the transfer of funds using abndged-format EPD must be accompanied by an exchange of paper based payment documents, filled out in accordance with the established procedure.
During 1999 the Bank of Russia plans to phase in a paperless technology in its settlement system, using full-format electronic payment documents only in the exchange of electronic documents between Bank of Russia institutions and between the Bank of Russia and credit institutions.
After January 1,1998, the Bank of Russia charges a fee for its settlement services. Some kinds of settlement operations are conducted by the Bank of Russia free of charge.
Interbank settlements effected through correspondent accounts opened by credit institutions with one another play a part in the general payment turnover.
The rules of settlement operations with correspondent accounts of credit institutions opened with other credit institutions are formulated in the Bank of Russia Provisions on Effecting Non-Cash Settlements by Credit Institutions in the Russian Federation, which came into effect in 1998.
The operations conducted with correspondent accounts of correspondent banks are divided into two types: operations to service clients and own interbank operations.
The development of correspondent relations depends on various factors, such as mutual payment flows, price and demand in the credit market, the possibility of participating in trading in the regional government securities markets and on currency exchanges and the risk levels.
Specifically, settlements in correspondent relations are effected with credit institutions in CIS and other countries.
Settlements through clearing institutions are one of the means of interbank settlements.
The development of clearing settlements depends on the financial condition of credit institutions and the state of the money markets. Eight settlement credit institutions have been granted permanent licence as clearing houses.
Clearing operations are based on a clearing model requiring the participating banks to make preliminary deposits in their accounts with the clearing institution.
Nearly 2,000 credit institutions and their branches and other corporate clients effect settlements through non-bank clearing institutions.
The Bank of Russia has a decisive role to play in elaborating the principles of organising clearing operations and monitoring compliance with these principles.
Intrabank settlements are gaining acceptance. They include settlements between a head office of a credit institution and its branches and between branches of a credit institution. The procedure for conducting settlement operations with inter-branch settlement accounts in Russia is established by the Bank of Russia Provisions on Conducting Non-Cash Settlements by Credit Institutions in the Russian Federation.
A mid-term strategy for the development of Russia's payments system was elaborated in 1996. It sets forth as the main objectives of the reform of the system further modernising settlements, upgrading banking technologies, introducing new instruments of payment, raising the standard of services provided to credit institutions and other organisations and creating conditions for liquidity management.
To raise the banking technology of implementing settlements onto a qualitatively new level, new methods are being developed, new rules and regulations are being enforced, new technologies are being introduced and new organisational principles are being established. Efforts are also being made to accelerate the introduction of electronic documents and build an advanced automated real-time system of settlements.
To this end, steps are being taken to determine the status and functions of individual subsystems for the implementation of settlements, enable credit institutions to manage their liquidity more accurately, develop and introduce formats of electronic documents and settlement documents on paper, stimulate the functioning of clearing institutions, improve conditions for the introduction of bank payment cards in order to reduce the amount of cash in circulation, and elaborate regulatory rules in these areas.
The Bank of Russia division responsible for ensuring methodologically and organisationally the efficient and uninterrupted functioning of the national payments system is the Methodology and Organisation of Settlements Department.
In accordance with its Statute, the Department ensures the implementation of the main tasks involved in developing and upgrading the methods of non-cash payments in the Russian Federation, elaborating a concept of development of the Bank of Russia payments system and organising supervision of the Bank of Russia settlement divisions and other settlement systems.
United States, Bank of the
central bank chartered in 1791 by the U.S. Congress at the urging of and over the objections of Thomas Jefferson. Extended debate over its constitutionality contributed significantly to the evolution of pro- and anti-bank factions into the first American political parties--respectively, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. Antagonism over the bank issue grew so heated that its charter could not be renewed in 1811. Reconstituted in 1816, the Bank of the United States continued to stir controversy and partisanship, with Henry Clay and the Whigs ardently supporting it and and the Democrats ardently opposing it.
The first Bank of the United States was a cornerstone of Hamilton's fiscal policy; it was a means to fund the public debt left from the Revolution, to facilitate the issuance of a stable national currency, and to provide a convenient means of exchange for all the people of the United States. It was capitalized at $10,000,000 and fully subscribed almost instantly, with the federal government holding the largest block of ownership, 20 percent. A substantial interest in the bank was also purchased by Europeans.
The bank accomplished all Hamilton had hoped for and also succeeded in an unforeseen role: the regulation of private banks chartered by the several states. At this time the issuance of notes was a more conspicuous feature of banking than were deposits. Bank notes entered circulation as the money banks lent to their borrowers, and these notes comprised most of the total currency in circulation.
The rapid growth of the young country generated powerful demand for loans and tended to stimulate the overextension of credit. It was in the general interest to restrain such overexpansion, and the bank imposed that restraint automatically. As the depository of the government, with offices in the chief seaports and commercial centres, it constantly received from collectors of revenue the notes of private banks by which monies due the government were paid. As fast as it received such notes it called for their redemption in gold and silver by the banks of issue, thus automatically restricting the overextension of credit and protecting the economy from inflation. Conversely, in periods of panic and deflation, the bank could ease the pressure. It was engaged precisely in what came later to be called central banking.
Despite its successes, the bank met political opposition that gathered force with partisan changes taking place in the country. In good part, this opposition was based on the very restraints the bank imposed on private, state-chartered banks; this was also seen as an affront to states' rights, and the bank's federal charter was called unconstitutional. In 1811, when the 20-year charter expired, renewal was politically impossible. Its officers acknowledged reality and successfully sought a state charter in New York.
Within a few years, however, economic developments, chaotic conditions among the state banks, and changes in the composition of Congress combined to enable the chartering of a new Bank of the United States with wider powers than before and with closer links to the government. There was some early mismanagement, but in 1823 of Philadelphia became its president and the bank began to flourish.
Under Biddle, the central banking responsibilities were recognized and developed as consciously as those of the Bank of England at the same time--perhaps more so. But since these responsibilities usually had to be exercised as restraints, private banks resented them and complained of oppression.
The rapid development of American industry and transportation was enhancing the richness of the country's resources, and the idea of democracy was beginning to connote to entrepreneurs the idea of free enterprise and laissez-faire. Hence, the very conditions that made credit restraint advisable also made it objectionable. Meanwhile, a developing agrarian populism, especially in the South and West, and among the poor everywhere, was seeing in democracy opposition to privilege and aristocracy and wealth. The bank became known as "the monster," and the enemy of the common people. These incongruous strains against the bank united under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, who became president in 1829. His attacks on it were sustained and colourful and rallied wide support. Attacks on the bank's constitutionality continued, although a decade earlier the Supreme Court, in McCulloch v. Maryland, had found the charter constitutional under the doctrine of implied powers, leader of the Whigs in the Senate from 1831, championed the bank against the Jacksonian Democrats and in 1832 deliberately injected the bank question into the presidential campaign by bringing about the renewal, four years early, of the bank's charter, adopted by Congress on July 3. Jackson promptly vetoed the bank renewal act as unconstitutional, disdaining the Supreme Court decision and asserting that officeholders were bound by their oaths to uphold the constitution as they, not others, understood it. In a demagogic veto message he depicted the bank as the "prostration of our Government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many."
The bank issue dominated the campaign of 1832, in which Jackson decisively defeated Clay. The veto stood, but the bank's charter still had four years to run, so Jackson determined to scuttle it ahead of time by withdrawing government funds from it. He shuffled his cabinet twice before finding in Roger B. Taney--who as attorney general had declared the move legal--a treasury secretary willing to withdraw U.S. deposits from the Bank of the United States and place them in various state-chartered private institutions, which quickly became known as "pet banks."
The Bank carried on as best it could until the expiry of its charter in 1836, when it sought and won a state charter as the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania. The long and rancorous affair became known as the, and Jackson's victory in it precluded for almost 80 years--until the creation in 1913 of the FederalReserveSystem--any effective regulation of private banks in the United States.
Federal Reserve System
central banking authority of the United States. It acts as a fiscal agent for the U.S. government, is custodian of the reserve accounts of commercial banks, makes loans to commercial banks, and is authorized to issue Federal Reserve notes that constitute the entire supply of paper currency of the country. Created by the of 1913, the system consists of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the 12 Federal Reserve banks, the, the Federal Advisory Council, and, since 1976, a Consumer Advisory Council; there are several thousand member banks.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System determines the reserve requirements of the member banks within statutory limits, reviews and determines the discount rates established by the 12 Federal Reserve banks, and reviews the budgets of the reserve banks. A Federal Reserve bank is a privately owned corporation established pursuant to the Federal Reserve Act to serve the public interest; it is governed by a board of nine directors, six of whom are elected by the member banks and three of whom are appointed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve banks are located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, and also in Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta, Ga.; St. Louis, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Dallas, Texas. The Federal Open Market Committee, consisting of the seven members of the Board of Governors and five members elected by the Federal Reserve banks, is responsible for the determination of Federal Reserve bank policy in the purchase and sale of securities on the open market. The Federal Advisory Council, whose role is purely advisory, consists of 12 members, one of whom is elected by the board of directors of each of the Federal Reserve districts. All national banks are required to be members of the Federal Reserve System, and state banks may become members if they meet membership qualifications.
The Federal Reserve System exercises its regulatory powers in several ways, the most important of which may be classified as instruments of direct or indirect control. One form of direct control can be exercised by adjusting the legal reserve ratio--i.e., the proportion of its deposits that a member bank must hold in its reserve account--thus increasing or reducing the amount of new loans that the commercial banks can make. Because loans give rise to new deposits, the potential is, in this way, expanded or reduced. This policy tool has not been used very frequently in recent years.
The money supply may also be influenced through manipulation of the (also called rediscount) rate, which is the rate of interest charged by Federal Reserve banks on short-term secured loans to member banks. Since these loans are typically sought to maintain reserves at their required level, an increase in the cost of such loans has an effect similar to that of increasing the reserve requirement.
The classic method of indirect control is through, first widely used in the 1920s and now employed daily to make small adjustments in the market. Federal Reserve bank sales or purchases of securities on the open market tend to reduce or increase the size of commercial-bank reserves; e.g., when the Federal Reserve sells securities, the purchasers pay for them with checks drawn on their deposits, thereby reducing the reserves of the banks on which the checks are drawn.
The three instruments of control described here have been conceded to be more effective in preventing inflation in times of high economic activity than in bringing about revival from a period of depression. A supplemental control occasionally used by the Federal Reserve Board is that of changing the margin requirements involved in the purchase of securities.