DEFINITION of 'European Central Bank - ECB'

The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed in Germany in June 1998 and works with the other national banks of each of the EU members to formulate monetary policy that helps maintain price stability in the European Union.

BREAKING DOWN 'European Central Bank - ECB'

The European Central Bank has been responsible for the monetary policy of the European Union since January 1, 1999, when the euro currency was adopted by the EU members. The responsibilities of the ECB are to formulate monetary policy, conduct foreign exchange, hold currency reserves and authorize the issuance of bank notes, among many other things.

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