The National Bank of Belgium has been Belgium's central bank since 1850. It performs tasks in the general interest at both national and international level. Main Task and activities of the bank: • European monetary policy: Since 1 January 1999 the National Bank has played an active part in the determination and implementation of the Eurosystem’s monetary policy. The Eurosystem consists of the European Central Bank and the national central banks of the countries which have the euro as their currency. The primary objective of that monetary policy is the maintenance of price stability in the euro area. • The issuing of notes and coins: Banknotes are the best-known item produced by the National Bank, which has been printing them since 1851 • Research and Information Centre: The National Bank plays an important role in the collection, compilation, analysis and distribution of economic and financial information. It collects macro-economic data on the Belgian economy and micro-economic data on individual businesses and economic agents and endeavors to circulate this information as rapidly and widely as possible. • International assignment: The active role played by the National Bank in the sphere of international cooperation is based on its responsibilities as a central bank and a member of the Eurosystem. That role is often linked to its task of promoting monetary and financial stability. • Services to states: The National Bank centralizes the revenue and expenditure of the federal State in the account maintained by the Belgian Treasury at the National Bank. That account also records the transactions carried out by the National Bank on behalf of the State, as well as the balance of the transactions the Post Office carries out on behalf of the State (e.g. collecting taxes and social security contributions, paying the wages of the federal civil servants. • Services to the financial sector: The central bank acts as the linchpin of the financial sector. Like most central banks, the National Bank has set up a number of services which it performs for credit institutions. • The Financial oversight: The primary objective of any modern central bank, aside from monetary stability, is maintaining an efficient and reliable financial system.