Austrian National Bank

Austrian National Bank


(Österreichische National-bank), a state central bank of credit and issue, with branches in the capitals of all the federated provinces and in the city of Villach (in Carinthia) and with its main office in Vienna. In 1922 it grew out of the Austro-Hungarian Bank. After the Anschluss and the occupation of Austria by Germany in 1938, it merged with the German Reichsbank. It was reestablished after the country was liberated and resumed its activity in July 1945.

The bank has a fixed capital of 150 million schillings (150,000 registered securities of 1,000 schillings each). One-half of its fixed capital is owned directly by the state, and the remaining block of securities is shared between concerns and individuals. The Austrian National Bank is required to issue bank notes, regulate currency and credit, supervise the activity of commercial banks (it sets the minimum for their reserves, a part of which—up to 15 percent—must be kept on account with the Austrian National Bank), back the exchange rate of the Austrian schilling, carry out foreign exchange transactions, and so forth. Notes issued by the bank are not required by law to have gold backing. To enable it to regulate the currency and credit, the Austrian National Bank has been authorized to make loans (mainly to commercial banks), fix and change the interest rates on its discount and other transactions, determine the percentage of obligatory reserves of commercial banks, and carry out operations on the open securities market.

On Apr. 23, 1969, the balance of the Austrian National Bank comprised, in schillings: revenues, 50.3 billion; reserves, 4.6 billion; bank note issues, 28.2 million; and gold and foreign exchange, 33.2 billion. Of the last amount, 14.8 billion schillings was in gold.


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