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The Bank of the Republic ( ) is the state-run central bank of the Republic of Colombiamarker. Its main functions are detailed by the Congress according to the Ley 31 de 1992. One of them is the issuance of the Colombian currency, the peso.


There are at least three predecessors to the current bank. The first national bank was created in 1880, named the Banco Nacional, and its functions included handling the state funds, issuing currency and making loans to the state. In 1894 the Congress closed the bank due to registered excesses in the issuance of currency. In 1905, the Banco Central de Colombia was created but it was closed in 1909 for identical reasons.

In 1923, after several years of financial crisis, President Pedro Nel Ospina requested an expert committee to study Colombian economic conditions. This committee, led by American economist Edwin Walter Kemmerer (known as The Money Doctor) was called the Mission Kemmerer. Kemmerer had already worked with Latin American governments: that of Mexicomarker in 1917 and of Guatemalamarker in 1919. He helped the Colombian government create the Bank of the Republic and the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, and to structure the laws for this function using those already existing. After his work in Colombia, Kemmerer did the same for other Latin American governments, like Chilemarker in 1925, Ecuadormarker in 1926 and Perumarker in 1931.

The bank was officially created by the Law 25 of July 25, 1923, 5 days after the 113 anniversary of the Independence of Colombia. With a capital of 10 million dollars in gold, half provided by the government and the rest by foreign and national commercial banks. Its role as a banker for banks includes:
  • Acting as a State Bank
  • Controlling the issue of the currency, the Colombian peso
  • Receiving foreign credits and make loans to the Government and private banks
  • Managing the financial policy of the country
  • Regulating the exchange rate between the peso and other currencies

The Board of Directors was created by the same law, with ten members from private and public sectors of the economy with the power to enforce regulatory and monetary controls. The Board was also given the responsibility of establishing the discount rate and intervening to control interest rates.


The headquarters of the Bank of the Republic are located in Bogotámarker, in the historical center of the city (Calle 11 No. 4-21) and a few blocks away from the Gold Museum and the Luis Ángel Arango Library. Along with the Fiscalía General de la Nación de Colombia bunker, it is one of the most secure buildings in the country, with several security levels required to access different areas. The security is handled by private companies and the Colombian National Police, armed with Colombian-made MAC-10 submachine guns, among others. Most of the administrative areas of the bank are located above ground, in a twelve-storey building. Below the street there is a heavily-guarded area where money in different currencies is stored, and in a special vault the country's reserve of gold.


Beside their primary roles in the Colombian economy, the Bank of The Republic has control over two important institutions in Colombian culture: the Gold Museum and the Luis Ángel Arango Library.

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