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Not to be confused with The Treasury

A treasury is any place where the currency or items of high monetary value (rubies, diamonds, etc.) are kept. The term was first used in Classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphimarker or many similar buildings erected in Olympia, Greecemarker by competing city-states to impress others during the ancient Olympic Games. In Ancient Greece treasuries were almost always physically incorporated within religious buildings such as temples, thus making state funds sacrosanct and adding moral constraints to the penal ones to those who would have access to these funds.

The head of a Treasury is typically known as a Treasurer. This position may not necessarily have the final control over the actions of the Treasury particularly if they are not an elected representative.

Examples of treasuries


In the United Kingdommarker, Her Majesty's Treasurymarker is overseen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The traditional honorary title of First Lord of the Treasury is held by the Prime Minister. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs administers the taxation system.

In the United Statesmarker, the Treasurer reports to an executive-appointed Secretary of the Treasury. The IRS is the revenue agency of the US Department of Treasurymarker.

Ministry of Finance

In many other countries, the treasury is called the Ministry of Finance and the head is known as the Finance Minister. Examples include New Zealandmarker, Canadamarker, Malaysiamarker, Singaporemarker, Bangladeshmarker, Indiamarker and Japanmarker.

In some other countries, a "Treasury" will exist alongside a separate "Ministry of Finance", with divided functions.


In Australia a Treasurer and a Finance Minister co-exist. The Treasury is responsible for drafting the government budget, economic policy (except monetary policy), some market regulation and revenue policy (which is administed by the Australian Taxation Office). The Finance Minister, who manages the Department of Finance and Deregulation is responsible for government administration, government expenditure, and some market deregulation.

The government of Polandmarker includes the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of State Treasury. It was the same in Italymarker before the creation of the united Ministry of Economy.

See also

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