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The Bank

The Central Bank of Iceland (Seðlabanki Íslands) is an independent institution, owned by the Icelandic state but under separate administration.

The Central Bank is in charge of monetary policy implementation in Iceland and performs a wide range of functions to this end. The main objective of monetary policy is price stability. Furthermore, the Bank is also obliged to contribute towards the Government's main economic policy objectives insofar as it does not consider this to conflict with its own goal of price stability.

In addition, the Central Bank undertakes standard central banking tasks, such as maintaining external reserves and promoting an efficient and safe financial system, including payment systems domestically and with foreign countries. It is also responsible for the issue of notes and coin, exchange rate matters and other duties, as specified in the Central Bank Act.

The Central Bank is ultimately under the administration of the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and a Supervisory Board. Parliament (the Althing) elects seven members to the Supervisory Board after each parliamentary election.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs appoints the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank for a five-year term. Decisions on applying the Central Bank's monetary policy control mechanisms shall be taken by the Monetary Policy Committee. In other respects, the Bank's direction shall be in the hands of the Governor.   

The Central Bank of Iceland was established by an act of Parliament in 1961, although the history of central banking in Iceland is much longer. The current Central Bank Act is no. 36/2001.