The Spanish Language Blog

The Bank of Spain also called Banco de España is the central bank of Spain. This Savings Bank is part of the European System of Central Banks. The main building of Banco de España is in Madrid. The nearby metro station in Madrid is named after the bank and is also called Banco de España.

The bank was founded by French-Spanish banker Francisco Cabarrús and King Carlos III in 1782 under the name Banco Nacional de San Carlos. After the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, the Spanish state had accumulated a debt of more than 300 million Real. To pay this debt, in 1829 the finance minister established a fund of about 40 million Real that allowed the bank to issue its own banknotes within Madrid. Along with this new asset, again the name changed, this time to Banco Español de San Fernando.

A few months after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, almost most of the gold reserves were taken to Moscow to pay for weapons (Moskougoud). This totaled about 510 tons of gold taken away from the bank.

In 1844, another bank called Banco de Isabel II established itself. After three years, the Banco Español de San Fernando merged with Banco de Isabel II, in the process retaining its name. In 1856, the name was changed to the current name of the Spanish savings bank, Banco de España. Almost 20 years later, the Banco de España was given the sole right to issue Spanish banknotes. In 1962, the Banco de España was officially nationalized by General Franco. The Spanish central bank also has another large art collection with paintings by Picasso and Goya, among others.

Outside the central bank of Spain you also have regional banks, the two largest being Santander Central Hispano and the BBVA. Outside these regional banks, you will find about 30 other banks that only operate nationwide.

Since the bank is no longer responsible for Spain's monetary policy, today it provides economic and monetary advice to the Spanish government. Beyond this, the Bank of Spain also issues euro bills and coins. The Bank of Spain oversees the Spanish banking system and manages its own valuation and precious metal reserves. Monetary policy is in the hands of the European Central Bank along with the EMU (Economic and Monetary Union). Since 2006, the bank's governor has been Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez. Miguel is an economist and politician appointed to this position by the Spanish government.

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