An international financial institution (IFI) is a financial institution that has been established (or chartered) by more than one country, and hence are subjects of international law. Its owners or shareholders are generally national governments, although other international institutions and other organizations occasionally figure as shareholders. The most prominent IFIs are creations of multiple nations, although some bilateral financial institutions (created by two countries) exist and are technically IFIs. The best known IFIs were established after World War II to assist in the reconstruction of Europe and provide mechanisms for international cooperation in managing the global financial system.
Today, the world's largest IFI is the European Investment Bank, with a balance sheet size of €573 billion in 2016. This compares to the two components of the World Bank, the IBRD (assets of $358 billion in 2014) and the IDA (assets of $183 billion in 2014). For comparison, the largest commercial banks each have assets of c.$2,000-3,000 billion.
A multilateral development bank (MDB) is an institution, created by a group of countries, that provides financing and professional advising for the purpose of development. MDBs have large memberships including both developed donor countries and developing borrower countries. MDBs finance projects in the form of long-term loans at market rates, very-long-term loans (also known as credits) below market rates, and through grants.
The following are usually classified as the main MDBs:
There are also several "sub-regional" multilateral development banks. Their membership typically includes only borrowing nations. The banks lend to their members, borrowing from the international capital markets. Because there is effectively shared responsibility for repayment, the banks can often borrow more cheaply than could any one member nation. These banks include:
There are also several multilateral financial institutions (MFIs). MFIs are similar to MDBs but they are sometimes separated since they have more limited memberships and often focus on financing certain types of projects.
The best-known IFIs were established after World War II to assist in the reconstruction of Europe and provide mechanisms for international cooperation in managing the global financial system. They include the World Bank, the IMF, and the International Finance Corporation. Today the largest IFI in the world is the European Investment Bank which lent 61 billion euros to global projects in 2011.
|1944||IMF International Monetary Fund||[www.imf.org]||Specialised agency of the UN||Washington, DC|
|1944||IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development||[www.worldbank.org]||World Bank Group, Specialised agency of the UN||Washington, DC|
|1956||IFC International Finance Corporation||[www.ifc.org]||World Bank Group||Washington, DC|
|1960||IDA International Development Association||[www.worldbank.org]||World Bank Group||Washington, DC|
|1966||ICSID, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes||[icsid.worldbank.org]||World Bank Group||Washington, DC|
|1988||MIGA Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency||[www.miga.org]||World Bank Group||Washington, DC|
|1995||GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, basis for the creation of World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995||[www.wto.org] [wto.org]||The GATT is not an organisation. The WTO is not a United Nations agency||Geneva for the WTO|
The regional development banks consist of several regional institutions that have functions similar to the World Bank group's activities, but with particular focus on a specific region. Shareholders usually consist of the regional countries plus the major donor countries. The best-known of these regional banks cover regions that roughly correspond to United Nations regional groupings, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank; the African Development Bank; the Central American Bank for Economic Integration; and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Islamic Development Bank is among the leading multilateral development banks. IsDB is the only multilateral development bank after the World Bank that is global in terms of its membership. 56 member countries of IsDB are spread over Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.
|1959||IDB Interamerican Development Bank||[www.IADB.org]||Works in the Americas, but primarily for development in Latin America and the Caribbean||Washington|
|1960||CABEI Central American Bank for Economic Integration||[www.cabei.org]||Central America||Tegucigalpa|
|1964||AFDB African Development Bank||[www.afdb.org]||Africa||Abidjan|
|1973||IsDB Islamic Development Bank Group||[www.isdb.org]||56 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America||Jeddah|
|1966||ADB Asian Development Bank||[www.adb.org]||Asia||Manila|
|1970||CAF Development Bank of Latin America||[www.caf.com]||Latin America||Caracas|
|29/5/91||EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development||[www.ebrd.com]||London|
|16/4/56||CEB Council of Europe Development Bank||[www.coebank.org]||Coordinated organisation||Paris|
|14/11/73||BOAD Banque ouest-africaine de développement West African Development Bank||[www.boad.org]||Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine, Cf.BCEAO Banque centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest||Lomé|
|1975||BDEAC Banque de developpement des États de l'Afrique centrale, Development Bank of Central African States||[www.bdeac.org]||Communauté économique et monétaire de l'Afrique centrale (CEMAC). Not to be confused with BEAC Banque des États de l’Afrique centrale||Brazzaville, Congo|
A bilateral development bank is a financial institution set up by one individual country to finance development projects in a developing country and its emerging market, hence the term bilateral, as opposed to multilateral. Examples include:
Financial institutions of neighboring countries established themselves internationally to pursue and finance activities in areas of mutual interest; most of them are central banks, followed by development and investment banks. The table below lists some of them in chronological order of when they were founded or listed as functioning as a legal entity. Some institutions were conceived and started working informally 2 decades before their legal inception (e.g. the South East Asian Central Banks Centre)
|17/5/1930||BIS Bank for International Settlements||[www.bis.org]||The bank of all central banks, 60 members||Basle, Basel, Bâle|
|1958||EIB European Investment Bank||[www.eib.org]||Created by European Union member states to provide long-term finance, mainly in the EU||Luxembourg|
|2/15/1965||AACB African Association of Central Banks, ABCA Association des Banques Centrales Africaines||[www.aacb.org]||Consists of 40 African central banks||Dakar, Senegal.|
|10/7/1970||IIB International Investment Bank||[www.iib.int]||Consists of 9 member countries from 3 continents||Moscow, Russia|
|8/1976||NIB Nordic Investment Bank||[www.nib.int]||Lending operations in its 8 member countries and emerging markets on all continents.||Helsinki, Finland|
|3/2/1982||SEACEN South East Asian Central Banks Centre||[www.seacen.org]||19 Asian central banks||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|24/1/1997||BSTDB Black Sea Trade and Development Bank||[www.bstdb.org]||11 member countries,corresponding to the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation||Thessaloniki, Greece|
|1998||ECB European Central Bank||[www.ecb.int]||Central bank of 18 EU countries that have adopted the euro||Frankfurt am Main|