European System of Central Banks (ESCB)

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The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) is made up of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the set of National Central Banks of all the Member States of the European Union (EU). Regardless of whether your currency is the euro or not.

However, the ESCB is a 'virtual entity', since it has neither legal personality nor its own governing bodies. It is therefore important to differentiate between the Eurosystem and the ESCB. The Eurosystem groups together the ECB and the National Central Banks that have adopted the euro. For this reason, as long as there are States that retain their own currency, it will be necessary to differentiate between the Eurosystem and the ESCB.

Difference between ESCB and Eurosystem

In addition to the composition of these two entities, there is a fundamental difference. This difference has to do with monetary policy. The Eurosystem adopts a common monetary policy. The ECB, the core of the Eurosystem, implements monetary policy. For their part, the National Central Banks, whose currency is the euro, carry out the functions established by the ECB. However, the National Central Banks whose currency is not the euro, carry out their own monetary policy.

The only limitation of the latter is the Exchange Rate Mechanism (MTC). The Exchange Rate Mechanism is an agreement signed between the ECB and the National Central Banks of the European Union other than the euro. The objective of this agreement is to maintain stability between the euro and the rest of the national currencies of the Union.

Members of the ESCB

Among the members of the ESCB are 28 National Central Banks, in addition to the European Central Bank.

  1. European Central Bank
  2. Bundesbank (Germany)
  3. Austrian National Bank
  4. National Bank of Belgium
  5. Central Bank of Cyprus
  6. National Bank of Slovakia
  7. Bank of Slovenia
  8. Bank of Spain
  9. Bank of Estonia
  10. Bank of Finland
  11. Bank of France
  12. Bank of Greece
  13. Central Bank of Ireland
  14. Bank of Italy
  15. Bank of Latvia
  16. Bank of lithuania
  17. Central Bank of Luxembourg
  18. Central Bank of Malta
  19. Nedernlandsche Bank (Netherlands)
  20. Bank of Portugal
  21. National Bank of Bulgaria
  22. Croatian National Bank
  23. National Bank of Denmark
  24. Hungarian National Bank
  25. National Bank of Poland
  26. Bank of England (UK)
  27. Czech National Bank
  28. National Bank of Romania
  29. Bank of Sweden

So the top 20 make up the Eurosystem. Including the last 9 we would have the entire ESCB.

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