Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

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    Reserve Bank of AustraliaThe Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is the central bank of Australia and is responsible for ensuring that the nation’s central bank remain stable.

    The RBA was established in 1960 after the Reserve Bank Act stripped the existing Commonwealth Bank of its functions and duties. These are the same duties that we have come to associate with central banks.

    The RBA is entirely owned by the state, and it provides banking and registry services to the government, as well as the services it provides to other banks and financial institutions.

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    Since its creation, there has been a gradual movement towards market-oriented methods of implementing monetary policy instead of directly controlling the banks. In response, the RBA has gradually built up a specialist banking supervision function which is tasked with ensuring that there is transparency within the financial system.

    Functions and influence on the Australian dollar

    The RBA’s main responsibility is to take a leading role in Australia’s approach to monetary policy. According to the act of 1960, which resulted in the RBA’s creation, the bank must use these powers to ensure the stability of the Australian dollar (AUD), maintain full employment in Australia and safeguard the prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

    Much like many other central banks, the RBA has the power to issue currency and also sets interest rates in the country. Their reports and news releases are likely to influence currency pairs, including the Australian dollar. As a commodity currency, the strength of the AUD is very often dependent on the market for natural resources. This is something that the RBA cannot always have a great deal of control over, but it can make interest rate changes particularly important for investors of the AUD.

    Structure

    The bank has two main arms through which its services are delivered. The first is the Payment Systems Board, which has the power to regulate any payment system and ensure that it poses no threat to competitiveness or client safety. It also has the power to arbitrate should complications arise between two companies.

    The other arm of the RBA is the Reserve Bank Board. This nine person panel consists of six specially appointed external individuals and three representatives from within the bank, including the governor, deputy governor and the secretary to the treasury. This board is tasked with supervising all the monetary and banking policy decisions made by the bank.

    Reserve Bank of Australia website

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