What is the purpose of the National Bank?
The National Bank has been Belgium’s central bank since 1850. Since the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999 it has been part of the Eurosystem, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB), based in Frankfurt, and the national central banks of the European Union Member States which have adopted the euro. These countries make up what is known as the euro area.
The National Bank has four missions that aim to guarantee well-being, provide security and boost confidence.
1. To safeguard price stability
In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the main objective of the Eurosystem is to safeguard price stability. That gives citizens and businesses the necessary assurance to plan their future.
2. To ensure financial stability and supervise the financial system
Financial stability and sound financial institutions are essential to ensuring well-being. That is why the Bank’s second mission is to ensure financial stability and supervise the financial system.
3. To guarantee safe cash and efficient payment systems
The Bank also has a duty to guarantee safe cash and efficient payment systems. Payments need to operate smoothly and people must have complete confidence in them so that the economy functions as it should, as that affects the quality of everyone’s life.
4. To provide economic and financial data and analyses
The Bank’s fourth mission is to provide economic and financial data and analyses. It is necessary to have data in order to study problems, make informed recommendations, and pursue good policies. Sometimes these data are available, and sometimes they have to be collected. For that reason, the Bank gives third parties access to the many sets of statistics that it collects and the many studies that it conducts on the country’s economy.