The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is known as one of the most influential Central Banks globally. It holds extensive power and control over the Australian Dollar through its actions and policies. Furthermore, the RBA plays a crucial role in shaping banking practices and works closely with other International Central Banks to ensure stability in the global financial system.

History and Structure of the RBA

The roots of the RBA can be traced back to the establishment of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1911. Gradually, the Commonwealth Bank took on more responsibilities associated with a central bank. These powers were officially formalized at the end of World War II through the Commonwealth Bank Act 1945 and the Banking Act 1945. As the central banking activities of the organization continued to expand, it became necessary to create a separate entity. Thus, the Reserve Bank Act 1959 was put into effect, leading to the creation of the Reserve Bank of Australia, which commenced operations on January 14, 1960.

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Board of the RBA

The board of the RBA consists of nine members, including the Governor, Deputy Governor, and the Secretary to the Treasury. In addition to these executive members, there are six non-executive members appointed by the Treasurer. The non-executive members serve for terms of up to five years, without any restrictions on the number of terms they can serve. On the other hand, the Governor and Deputy Governor are appointed for terms of up to seven years and are eligible for reappointment.

Roles and Responsibilities of the RBA

The RBA has several significant roles and responsibilities to fulfill. Firstly, it serves as the nation’s authority for issuing banknotes. Secondly, the RBA plays a crucial role in formulating and implementing monetary and banking policies that contribute to the overall welfare and prosperity of the Australian people. Additionally, the RBA has three key mandates: to maintain the stability of the Australian currency, ensure full employment in the country (with a target range of 5-6% unemployment), and promote the economic prosperity and welfare of the Australian population.

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Over the years, the core mandate of the RBA has remained consistent, but there have been notable changes. In the early 1990s, the RBA adopted a policy of inflation targeting. The aim was to maintain an average annual inflation rate between 2-3%. This targeted inflation range was first established in 1993 and further formalized in 1996 by Governor Ian Mcfarlane. In cases where inflation exceeds the target range, the RBA may increase interest rates. The purpose of such rate hikes is to attract capital flows and potentially appreciate the Australian Dollar due to the higher yield.

Effect of Interest Rates and Monetary Policy on the Australian Dollar


The RBA utilizes monetary policy tools, particularly adjustments in interest rates, to ensure currency stability and achieve its inflation targets. An increase in interest rates generally reduces the supply of money in circulation, leading to increased demand for the currency. As a result, the currency appreciates. Conversely, a decrease in interest rates has an opposite effect, as it encourages borrowing and injects more money into circulation, ultimately leading to currency depreciation. These interest rate adjustments are crucial in maintaining stability and promoting economic growth.

It is important to note that changes in expectations regarding interest rates can also impact the Australian Dollar. Even if the RBA keeps interest rates unchanged, if it provides forward guidance indicating potential future interest rate hikes, it can influence market expectations. This can result in the appreciation of the Australian Dollar. It is important for traders to monitor interest rate expectations and anticipate their potential impact on the currency.

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Top Takeaways from the RBA

To summarize the key points discussed above:

– The RBA was established on January 14, 1960, and is fully owned by the Commonwealth of Australia.

– The RBA has the crucial responsibilities of maintaining currency stability, promoting full employment, and ensuring the economic prosperity and welfare of the Australian population.

– Its main policy tools include adjustments in interest rates, along with quantitative easing and tightening measures.

– Traders should closely monitor these monetary policy decisions and their potential impact on the Australian Dollar.

Learn More About Other Central Banks

While the RBA holds a significant position in the global financial system, other central banks around the world also play vital roles in their respective economies. Although their goals may align in terms of controlling price stability and upholding financial stability, there may be variations in their approaches. It is valuable for traders and individuals interested in the financial markets to explore the workings of different central banks and gain a broader understanding of their impact globally.

In conclusion, the Reserve Bank of Australia holds immense importance as a central bank. Through its actions and policies, it exercises control over the Australian Dollar, while also collaborating with international counterparts to ensure stability in the global financial system. The RBA’s board, roles, and responsibilities, particularly in terms of currency stability, inflation targeting, and employment, all contribute to the overall welfare and prosperity of the Australian people. Understanding the RBA’s functions and their impact on the Australian Dollar is crucial for traders and those interested in the financial markets.

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