Mission and tasks of the Banco de Portugal
The primary objective of the Eurosystem, of which Banco de Portugal is an integral part, is to maintain price stability, i.e. to maintain the purchasing power of money. This objective is laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community. The governor of Banco de Portugal performs the tasks of member of the Governing Council and of the General Council of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Asset and reserve management
It is incumbent on Banco de Portugal to manage the foreign assets of the country or others of its responsibility, at two main levels: its own investment assets and others; the ECB’s foreign reserve assets.
Supervision of money and foreign exchange markets
Also within the scope of its participation in the ESCB, the Bank is responsible for guiding and supervising money and foreign exchange markets.
Prudential and banking conduct supervision
It is particularly incumbent on Banco de Portugal to “provide for the stability of the national financial system, performing for the purpose the function of lender of last resort”. The Bank thus carries out the prudential supervision of credit institutions and financial companies. The governor of Banco de Portugal chairs the Conselho Nacional de Supervisores Financeiros (National Council of Financial Supervisors), an entity which comprises Banco de Portugal, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission and the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority.
Banco de Portugal is also responsible for supervising the conduct of institutions in their relations with customers – the so-called banking conduct supervision. Within this scope, Banco de Portugal intervenes in the supply of financial products and services, to ensure that institutions act with due diligence, neutrality, loyalty, discretion and respect in their relations with customers, as well as in the demand for products and services by stimulating and disseminating information to bank customers, aimed at promoting a careful assessment of their commitments and the risks they may incur.
An important initiative undertaken by the Bank within this field was the creation of the Portal do Cliente Bancário (bank customer website), which allows customers to submit complaints regarding supervised institutions or request the location of financial assets in case of death of the holder.
Regulation of payment systems
In addition to its issuing task, it is incumbent on the Bank to regulate, oversee and promote the smooth operation of payment systems, namely within the scope of its participation in the ESCB.
Banco de Portugal issues euro banknotes, which are legal tender and have discharging power and puts metal coins into circulation, including commemorative coins, although the European Central Bank has the exclusive right to authorise their issue. The Bank's printing works are located in the Carregado Complex, which produces banknotes and serves as a distribution centre for banknotes and coins, meeting the needs of the banking system.
Collection and compilation of statistics
Banco de Portugal is also responsible for the collection and compilation of monetary, financial, foreign exchange and balance of payments statistics, in particular within the scope of its co-operation with the ECB, which are published in the Statistical Bulletin and accessible via BPstat – Statistics online.
Production of economic research and analyses
Banco de Portugal produces research and analyses of the Portuguese economy, the euro area economy and its international environment, as well as of financial markets and systems. Within this scope, the Bank publishes the Annual Report, the Financial Stability Report, the Economic Bulletin and the Monthly Economic Indicators.
Reflecting the international nature of its tasks, Banco de Portugal cooperates, in particular, with the central banks of Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP), and participates in the activities of several international organisations, ensuring the representation of the Portuguese State in some of them.
Relations with the State
It is incumbent on Banco de Portugal to act as intermediary in the international monetary relations of the State, as well as advise the Government in economic and financial fields.