Oesterreichische Nationalbank celebrates bicentennial

(, Vienna)

Austria’s central bank looks back on 200 years since its foundation on June 1, 1816

The building of the OeNB in Vienna

In the course of its 200-year history the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) has fulfilled a broad range of constantly evolving tasks. In its anniversary year, the OeNB offers a wide range of activities and events to inform the Austrian public about its past role and present challenges.

The OeNB’s website serves as a central platform providing information on the 200-year anniversary, including an interactive time line sketching the most important events in the OeNB’s 200-year history and long-term historical statistical time series that have been compiled to portray the way monetary policy has been shaped, implemented and evaluated since 1816. By providing this information, the OeNB facilitates historical and empirical analyses of the Austrian economy.

Money Museum puts spotlight on 200 years of central banking history
On April 12, 2016, the OeNB’s Money Museum opened the special exhibition “Guardian of the currency. 200 years Oesterreichische Nationalbank,” which is open to visitors until January 27, 2017.

Radio quiz promotes financial literacy
The OeNB has launched a cooperation project with the ORF’s radio station Ö3: Between end-May and June 10, 2016, radio listeners have the chance to test their knowledge about central banking, money and finance in a quiz with cash prizes.

OeNB history on YouTube and on Austrian television
Today, the OeNB presents a new clip on its YouTube channel. The new video will once more put the spotlight on Austria’s central bank, complementing the numerous short videos available on its varied task portfolio. On June 3, 2016, the ORF will broadcast a documentary film on the OeNB’s 200-year history as part of its popular documentary series “Universum History.”

OeNB hosts international conferences
The OeNB will mark its bicentennial also by hosting several international conferences and expert meetings in 2016: Today, on June 1, 2016, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) is holding its monetary policy meeting in Vienna. For tomorrow, June 2, the OeNB has invited numerous renowned speakers to an anniversary ceremony in Vienna City Hall. ECB President Mario Draghi and economists Barry Eichengreen and Charles Goodhart – to name but a few – will be speaking on “Central Bank Policies – Past Challenges and Future Perspectives.”

Earlier this year, the OeNB hosted the annual conference of the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) in April and the Austrian numismatics conference in May. The OeNB will conclude its series of anniversary events with an economics conference organized in cooperation with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This conference on “Central Banking in Times of Change” has been scheduled for September 13 and 14, 2016.

Anniversary publications, coins and stamps
In early 2016, the Austrian Mint (MÜNZE Österreich AG) issued a EUR 2 commemorative coin and Austrian Post (Österreichische Post AG) presented a special-issue stamp to mark the beginning of the OeNB’s anniversary year.

Together with the publishing houses Brandstätter and Campus, the OeNB has already presented two anniversary books that highlight the eventful 200-year-long history of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank as well as the history of monetary policy in Austria. Both books are available in German and English.

The OeNB also commissioned a musical work by eminent contemporary Austrian composer Thomas Larcher to mark its 200-year anniversary. The composition will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the beginning of June 2016, in a world premiere in the Vienna Musikverein.