Central bank

A central bank is a public institution that controls a country’s currency, money supply and interest rates. It is the sole authority that is able to increase a country’s monetary base and print the national currency. It also acts as a lender of last resort to the banking sector during times of financial crisis or bank insolvency.

Examples of central banks are the Federal Reserve in the US, the ECB (European Central Bank) in Europe and the SNB (Swiss National Bank) in Switzerland.