International financial institutions

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.


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