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International financial institution

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Title: International financial institution  
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International financial institution

International financial institutions (IFIs) are financial institutions that have been established (or chartered) by more than one country, and hence are subjects of international law. Their owners or shareholders are generally national governments, although other international institutions and other organizations occasionally figure as shareholders. The most prominent IFIs are creations of multiple nations, although some bilateral financial institutions (created by two countries) exist and are technically IFIs. Many of these are multilateral development banks (MDB).


Multilateral development bank

Template:Duplication A multilateral development bank (MDB) is an institution, created by a group of countries, that provides financing and professional advising for the purpose of development. MDBs have large memberships including both developed donor countries and developing borrower countries. MDBs finance projects in the form of long-term loans at market rates, very-long-term loans (also known as credits) below market rates, and through grants.

The following are usually classified as the main MDBs:

There are also several "sub-regional" multilateral development banks. Their membership typically includes only borrowing nations. The banks lend to their members, borrowing from the international capital markets. Because there is effectively shared responsibility for repayment, the banks can often borrow more cheaply than could any one member nation. These banks include:

There are also several multilateral financial institutions (MFIs). MFIs are similar to MDBs but they are sometimes separated since they have more limited memberships and often focus on financing certain types of projects.

Bretton Woods institutions

Main article: Bretton Woods system

The best-known IFIs were established after World War II to assist in the reconstruction of Europe and provide mechanisms for international cooperation in managing the global financial system . They include the World Bank, the IMF, and the International Finance Corporation. Today the largest IFI in the world is the European Investment Bank which leant 61 billion euros to global projects in 2011.

Founded Name www Address Notes HQ
1944 IMF International Monetary Fund Specialised agency of the UN Washington (District of Columbia)
1944 IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development World Bank Group, Specialised agency of the UN Washington (District of Columbia)
1956 IFC International Finance Corporation World Bank Group Washington DC
1960 IDA International Development Association World Bank Group Washington DC
1966 ICSID, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes World Bank Group Washington DC
1988 MIGA Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency World Bank Group Washington DC
30/10/47 GATT General agreement on tariffs and trade, basis for the creation of World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 The GATT is not an organisation. The WTO is not a United Nations agency Geneva for the WTO

Regional development banks

The regional development banks consist of several regional institutions that have functions similar to the World Bank group's activities, but with particular focus on a specific region. Shareholders usually consist of the regional countries plus the major donor countries. The best-known of these regional banks cover regions that roughly correspond to United Nations regional groupings, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank; the African Development Bank; and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Founded Name www Address Notes HQ
1959 IDB Interamerican Development Bank Works in the Americas, but primarily for development in Latin America and the Caribbean Washington
1964 AFDB African Development Bank Africa Abidjan
1966 ADB Asian Development Bank Asia Manilla
29/5/91 EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development London
16/4/56 CEB Council of Europe Development Bank Coordinated organisation Paris
14/11/73 BOAD Banque ouest-africaine de développement West African Development Bank Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine, Cf.BCEAO Banque centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest Dakar?
1975 BDEAC Banque de développement des États de l'Afrique Centrale, DBCAS Development Bank of Central African States Communauté économique et monétaire de l'Afrique centrale (CEMAC), Cf. BEAC Banque des États de l’Afrique centrale Brazzaville, Congo

Bilateral development banks and agencies

A bilateral development bank is a financial institution set up by one individual country to finance development projects in a developing country and its emerging market, hence the term bilateral, as opposed to multilateral. Examples include:

Other regional financial institutions

Financial institutions of neighboring countries established themselves internationally to pursue and finance activities in areas of mutual interest; most of them arecentral banks, followed by development and investment banks. The table below lists some of them in chronological order of when they were founded or listed as functioning as a legal entity. Some institutions were conceived and started working informally 2 decades before their legal inception (e.g. the South East Asian Central Banks Centre)

Founded Name www Address Notes HQ
17/5/1930 BIS Bank of International Settlements The bank of all central banks, 60 members Basle, Basel, Bâle
1958 EIB European Investment Bank Created by European Union member states to provide long-term finance, mainly in the EU Luxembourg
2/15/1965 AACB African Association of Central Banks, ABCA Association des Banques Centrales Africaines consists of 40 African central banks Dakar, Senegal.
10/7/1970 International Investment Bank of Comecon established by 7 countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe[4] -no longer functioning Moscow
1975 IDB Islamic Development Bank 56 members, established by the Conference of Finance Ministers of Muslim Countries held in Jeddah, December 1973 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
8/1976 NIB Nordic Investment Bank[5] Lending operations in its 8 member countries and emerging markets on all continents.[6] Helsinki, Finland
3/2/1982 SEACEN South East Asian Central Banks Centre 19 Asian central banks Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
24/1/1997 BSTDB Black Sea Trade and Development Bank 11 member countries,corresponding to the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Thessaloniki, Greece
1998 ECB European Central Bank Central bank of 17 EU countries that have adopted the euro Frankfurt am Main

See also

Sustainable development portal


  • Belgian Foreign Ministry policy note
  • Bank Information Center
  • World Bank page describing MDBs
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