Bank of the Republic (Colombia)


Bank of the Republic (Colombia)

Infobox Central bank
bank_name_in_local =Banco de la República
image_1 =Banrep Logo.pngimage_title_1 =Logo of the Bank of the Republic
image_width_1 = 100
image_2 =Banrep edif.jpg
image_title_2 =Headquarters of the "Banco de la República", in Bogotá, Colombia
headquarters = Bogotá, Colombia
president = José Darío Uribe
leader_title = General Manager
bank_of = Colombia
currency = Colombian peso
currency_iso = COP
borrowing_rate =
deposit_rate =
website = [http://www.banrep.gov.co/ banrep.gov.co]
footnotes =

The Bank of the Republic ( _es. Banco de la República) is the central bank of the Republic of Colombia. Its main functions are detailed by the Congress according to the [http://www.banrep.gov.co/documentos/el-banco/pdf/l31de1992.pdf Ley 31 de 1992] . One of them is the issuance of the Colombian currency, the peso.

History

There are at least three predecessors to the current bank. The first national bank was created in 1880, named the "Banco Nacional", and its functions included handling the state funds, issuing currency and making loans to the state. In 1894 the Congress closed the bank due to registered excesses in the issuance of currency. In 1905, the "Banco Central de Colombia" was created but it was closed in 1909 for identical reasons.

In 1923, after several years of financial crisis, President Pedro Nel Ospina requested an expert committee to study Colombian economic conditions. This committee, led by American economist Edwin Walter Kemmerer (known as "The Money Doctor") was called the "Mission Kemmerer". Kemmerer had already worked with Latin American governments: that of Mexico in 1917 and of Guatemala in 1919. He helped the Colombian government create the Bank of the Republic and the "Contraloria General de la República", and to structure the laws for this function using those already existing. After his work in Colombia, Kemmerer did the same for other Latin American governments, like Chile in 1925, Ecuador in 1926 and Peru in 1931.

The bank was officially created by the Law 25 of July 25, 1923, 5 days after the 113 anniversary of the Independence of Colombia. With a capital of 10 million ???? in gold, half provided by the government and the rest by foreign and national commercial banks. Its role as a "banker for banks" includes:
*Acting as a State Bank
*Controlling the issue of the currency, the Colombian peso
*Receiving foreign credits and make loans to the Government and private banks
*Managing the financial policy of the country
*Regulating the exchange rate between the peso and other currencies

The Board of Directors was created by the same law, with ten members from private and public sectors of the economy with the power to enforce regulatory and monetary controls. The Board was also given the responsibility of establishing the discount rate and intervening to control interest rates.

Building

The headquarters of the Bank of the Republic are located in Bogotá, in the historical center of the city (Calle 11 No. 4-21) and a few blocks away from the Gold Museum and the Luis Ángel Arango Library. Along with the "Fiscalía General de la Nación de Colombia" bunker, it is one of the most secure buildings in the country, with several security levels required to access different areas. The security is handled by private companies and the Colombian National Police, armed with Colombian-made MAC-10 submachine guns, among others. Most of the administrative areas of the bank are located above ground, in a twelve-storey building. Below the street there is a heavily-guarded area where money in different currencies is stored, and in a special vault the country's reserve of gold.

Culture

Beside their primary roles in the Colombian economy, the Bank of The Republic has control over two important institutions in Colombian culture: the Gold Museum and the Luis Ángel Arango Library.

External links

* [http://www.banrep.gov.co/index_eng.html Bank of the Republic official site]


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