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Bundesbank Act (Bundesbankgesetz, BBankG)

Long title: Gesetz über die Deutsche Bundesbank

In the wording of the announcement of October 22, 1992 (Federal Law Gazette I, page 1782), as amended by the Sixth Act Amending the Bundesbank Act of December 22, 1997 (Federal Law Gazette, page 3274). This (revised) translation has been prepared by the Bundesbank for the convenience of English-speaking readers. It is not official; the only authentic text is the German one as published in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt).

Translation provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank and reproduced with kind permission.


Table of Contents

Part I Establishment, legal form and duties

1. Establishment of the Deutsche Bundesbank
2. Legal form, capital and domicile
3. Duties
4. Participating interests

Part II Organisation

5. Governing bodies
6. Central Bank Council
7. Directorate
8. Land Central Banks
9. Advisory Boards at Land Central Banks
10. Branch offices
11. Representation

Part III Federal Cabinet and Bundesbank

12. Relations between the Bank and the Federal Cabinet
13. Cooperation

Part IV Monetary powers

14. Note issue
15. (repealed)
16. (repealed)
17. (repealed)
18. Collection of statistics

Part V Scope of business

19. Transactions with credit institutions
20. Transactions with public authorities
21. Open market operations
22. Transactions with the general public
23. Certification of cheques
24. Lending against and purchase of equalisation claims
25. Other transactions

Part VI Annual accounts, distribution of profit and Return

26. Annual accounts
27. Distribution of profit
28. (repealed)

Part VII General provisions

29. Special status of the Deutsche Bundesbank
30. Notarial officials
31. Legal status of the civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners of the Deutsche Bundesbank
32. Pledge of secrecy
33. Public announcements
34. By-laws

Part VIII Provisions on penalties and on the detention of counterfeit money

35. Unauthorised uttering and use of monetary tokens
36. Detention of counterfeit currency and of monetary tokens or debt securities that have been uttered without authority
37. Confiscation

Part IX Transitional and final provisions

38. Restructuring the central banking system
39. Transitional provisions for the Executive Boards of Land Central Banks and for Advisory Boards
40. Changes in the terms of service
41. Legal status of persons coming within the provisions of article 131 of the Basic Law
42. Issue of liquidity paper
43. (Repeal of and amendments to legislation)
44. Dissolution
45. Transitional provision
46. (repealed)
47. (Entry into force)


Part I Establishment, legal form and duties

1. Establishment of the Deutsche Bundesbank

The Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank shall amalgamate with the Bank deutscher Länder. The Bank deutscher Länder shall become the Deutsche Bundesbank.

2. Legal form, capital and domicile

The Deutsche Bundesbank is a Federal corporation under public law. Its capital, amounting to five billion Deutsche Mark, is held by the Federal Government. The Bank is domiciled in Frankfurt am Main.

3. Duties

The Deutsche Bundesbank, being the central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany, is an integral part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). It shall participate in the performance of the ESCB’s tasks with the primary objective of maintaining price stability, and shall arrange for the execution of domestic and international payments. In addition, it shall discharge the duties assigned to it under this Act or other legislation.

4. Participating interests

Without prejudice to Article 6 (2) of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to participate in the Bank for International Settlements and, subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet, in other institutions serving the purposes of supranational monetary policy or international payment and lending operations, or otherwise apt to assist it in discharging its duties.

Part II Organisation

5. Governing bodies

The governing bodies of the Deutsche Bundesbank comprise the Central Bank Council (Zentralbankrat) (section 6), the Directorate (Direktorium) (section 7) and the Executive Boards (Vorstände) of the Land Central Banks (section 8).

6. Central Bank Council

(1) The Central Bank Council determines the Bank’s business policy. In the performance of tasks to be carried out through the European System of Central Banks, it shall act in accordance with the guidelines and instructions issued by the European Central Bank. It shall discuss the implications of monetary policy, without prejudice to the President’s independence of instructions in his capacity as a Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and the secrecy provisions applying to the European Central Bank. It draws up general guidelines governing the conduct of business and administration, and defines the responsibilities of the Directorate and the Executive Boards of the Land Central Banks, in accordance with the provisions of this Act. In specific cases it may also issue instructions to the Directorate and the Executive Boards of the Land Central Banks.

(2) The Central Bank Council is composed of the President and Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the other members of the Directorate and the Presidents of the Land Central Banks.

(3) The Central Bank Council deliberates under the chairmanship of the President or Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank. It takes its decisions by a simple majority of votes. For the rest, the conditions for taking decisions are governed by by-laws. The by-laws may provide that members of the Central Bank Council who are durably unable to attend meetings be represented by deputies.

7. Directorate

(1) The Directorate is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the Central Bank Council. It manages and administers the Bank, except in matters within the responsibility of the Executive Boards of the Land Central Banks. The following transactions, in particular, are reserved for the Directorate:

1. transactions with the Federal Government and its special funds,

2. transactions with credit institutions that perform central functions throughout Germany,

3. foreign exchange transactions and transactions with non-residents,

4. open market operations.

(2) The Directorate is composed of the President and Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and up to six other members. Members of the Directorate must have special professional qualifications.

(3) The President, the Vice-President and the other members of the Directorate are nominated by the Federal Cabinet and appointed by the President of the Federal Republic. Before making such nominations, the Federal Cabinet shall consult the Central Bank Council. Members of the Directorate are appointed for eight years, or in exceptional cases for a shorter term of office, but not for less than five years. Appointments and retirements shall be published in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).

(4) Members of the Directorate hold office under public law. Their legal status relative to the Bank, and particularly their salaries, retirement pensions and surviving dependants’ pensions, are regulated by contracts with the Central Bank Council. These contracts are subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet.

(5) The Directorate deliberates under the chairmanship of the President or VicePresident of the Deutsche Bundesbank. It takes its decisions by a simple majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the chairman has a casting vote. For the rest, the conditions for taking decisions are governed by by-laws. The by-laws may provide that certain decisions must be taken unanimously, or by some other majority of votes.

8. Land Central Banks

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank maintains a Main Office (Hauptverwaltung) known as a Land Central Bank (Landeszentralbank) in each of the following areas:

1. the Land of Baden-Württemberg,

2. the Free State of Bavaria,

3. the Länder of Berlin and Brandenburg,

4. the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the Länder of Lower Saxony and SaxonyAnhalt,

5. the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Länder of MecklenburgWestern Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein,

6. the Land of Hesse,

7. the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia,

8. the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland,

9. the Free States of Saxony and Thuringia.

(2) The Executive Board of each Land Central Bank carries out the transactions and administrative duties occurring in the area for which it is responsible. The following transactions, in particular, are reserved for Land Central Banks:

1. transactions with the Land Government or Länder Governments, and with public authorities in the Land or Länder,

2. transactions with credit institutions in their area, other than transactions which are reserved for the Directorate under section 7 (1) 2 above.

(3) The Executive Board of each Land Central Bank is composed of the President and Vice-President and, in the cases referred to in subsection (1) numbers 4 and 5 above, of one other member. The by-laws may authorise the appointment of one or two further members to an Executive Board, and may contain provisions governing decision-making by Executive Boards. Members of Executive Boards must have special professional qualifications.

(4) Presidents of Land Central Banks are nominated by the Bundesrat (the chamber of Parliament representing the Länder) and appointed by the President of the Federal Republic. The Bundesrat submits its nomination on the basis of a proposal by the authority appropriate under the laws of the Land or Länder concerned, and after having consulted the Central Bank Council. Vice-Presidents and other members of Executive Boards are nominated by the Central Bank Council and appointed by the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Members of Executive Boards are appointed for eight years, or in exceptional cases for a shorter term of office, but not for less than five years. Appointments and retirements shall be published in the Federal Gazette.

(5) Members of Executive Boards hold office under public law. Their legal status relative to the Bank, and particularly their salaries, retirement pensions and surviving dependants’ pensions, are regulated by contracts with the Central Bank Council. These contracts are subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet.

9. Advisory Boards at Land Central Banks

(1) At every Land Central Bank there is an Advisory Board (Beirat), which confers with the President of the Land Central Bank on questions of monetary policy, and with the Executive Board of the Land Central Bank on the performance of that Board’s duties in its area.

(2) The Advisory Board is composed of not more than 14 members, who should have special expertise in the field of banking. Not more than half of its members should be chosen from the various areas of banking, while the other members should be selected from trade and industry, distribution, the insurance sector, the professions, agriculture, and from among the ranks of wage and salary earners.

(3) The members of the Advisory Board are nominated by the Land Governments concerned and, after the Executive Board of the Land Central Bank has been consulted, appointed by the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank for a term of office of three years.

(4) Meetings of the Advisory Board are chaired by the President of the Land Central Bank or his deputy. The appropriate Land Ministers shall be given an opportunity of attending such meetings. They may request the convening of the Advisory Board. For the rest, the proceedings of an Advisory Board are governed by by-laws.

10. Branch offices

The Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to maintain branch offices (i. e. branches (Hauptstellen) and sub-branches (Zweigstellen)). The branches are managed by two managers (Direktoren), who report to the appropriate Land Central Bank. The sub-branches are managed by one manager, who reports to the superordinate branch.

11. Representation

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank is represented in and out of court by the Directorate, in the area of a Land Central Bank also by the Executive Board of that Bank, and in the area of a branch also by the managers of that branch. The provisions of section 31 (2) and section 41 (4) below are unaffected.

(2) Declarations are binding upon the Deutsche Bundesbank if they are made by two members of the Directorate or of the Executive Board of a Land Central Bank or by two managers of a branch. They may likewise be made by authorised representatives appointed by the Directorate or, in the area of a Land Central Bank, by the Executive Board of that Bank. A declaration made to the Bank has full legal effect if made to one person authorised to represent the Bank.

(3) Authority to represent the Bank may be evidenced by a certificate signed by a notarial official (Urkundsbeamter) of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

(4) Proceedings against the Deutsche Bundesbank relating to the business operations of a Land Central Bank or a branch may likewise be instituted at the court having jurisdiction at the domicile of that Land Central Bank or branch.

Part III Federal Cabinet and Bundesbank

12. Relations between the Bank and the Federal Cabinet

In exercising the powers conferred on it by this Act, the Deutsche Bundesbank is independent of instructions from the Federal Cabinet [Government]. As far as is possible without prejudice to its tasks as part of the European System of Central Banks, it shall support the general economic policy of the Federal Cabinet.

13. Cooperation

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank shall advise the Federal Cabinet on monetary policy issues of major importance, and shall furnish it with information on request.

(2) Members of the Federal Cabinet are entitled to attend the meetings of the Central Bank Council. They have no right to vote, but may propose motions.

(3) The Federal Cabinet should invite the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank to attend its deliberations on important monetary policy issues.

Part IV Monetary powers

14. Note issue

(1) Without prejudice to Article 105 a (1) of the EC Treaty, the Deutsche Bundesbank has the sole right to issue banknotes in the area in which this Act is law. Its notes are denominated in Deutsche Mark. They alone are legal tender for any amount. Notes in denominations smaller than ten Deutsche Mark may be issued only by agreement with the Federal Cabinet. The Deutsche Bundesbank shall announce publicly the denominations and distinguishing features of the notes it issues.

(2) The Deutsche Bundesbank may call in notes. Recalled notes become invalid on the expiry of the period for exchange announced at the time of recall.

(3) The Deutsche Bundesbank is not required to replace destroyed, lost, counterfeit or falsified notes or notes that have become invalid. It shall replace mutilated notes if the bearer either presents parts of a note which together make up more than one-half of the note, or furnishes proof that the remainder of the note of which he presents only one-half or some smaller part has been destroyed.

15. (repealed)

16. (repealed)

17. (repealed)

18. Collection of statistics

In order to discharge its duties, the Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to order and collect statistics in the fields of banking and the monetary system from all credit institutions. Sections 9, 15 and 16 of the Federal Statistics Act (Bundesstatistikgesetz) apply as appropriate. The Deutsche Bundesbank may publish these statistics for general purposes. Figures relating to individual institutions may not be disclosed in such publications. Persons entitled to information under section 13 (1) above may be supplied with such figures only if, and insofar as, this is provided for in the order under which the statistics are collected.

Part V Scope of business

19. Transactions with credit institutions

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to conduct the following transactions with credit institutions in the area in which this Act is law:

1. buy and sell bills of exchange and cheques backed by three parties known to be solvent; the need for the third signature may be dispensed with if the security of the bill or cheque is ensured in some other way; the bills must fall due within three months of the date of purchase; they should be fine trade bills;

2. buy and sell Treasury bills issued by the Federal Government, one of the Federal special funds specified in section 20 (1) 1 below or a Land Government, and falling due within three months of the date of purchase;

3. grant loans at interest (lombard loans) for a period not exceeding three months against the collateral of

(a) bills of exchange satisfying the requirements of number 1 above,

(b) Treasury bills satisfying the requirements of number 2 above,

(c) debt securities and Debt Register claims in the form of Treasury discount paper issued by the Federal Government, a Federal special fund or a Land Government,

(d) other debt securities and Debt Register claims issued or payable by the Federal Government, a Federal special fund or a Land Government,

(e) other debt securities and Debt Register claims specified by the Bank,

(f) equalisation claims as defined in section 1 of the Act on the Redemption of Equalisation Claims (Gesetz über die Tilgung von Ausgleichsforderungen) and entered in the Debt Register.

If the debtor defaults on a lombard loan, the Bank has the right to sell the collateral by auction through one of its officials or through an official authorised to sell by auction, or, if the asset provided as collateral has a stock market or market price, to sell it at the current price through one of those officials or a broker, and to indemnify itself for expenses, interest and principal out of the proceeds; the Bank retains this right relative to other creditors and relative to the insolvent party’s estate;

4. accept non-interest-bearing deposits on giro accounts;

5. accept assets, especially securities, for safe custody and administration; the Bank is debarred from exercising any voting rights in respect of the securities in its safe custody or under its administration;

6. accept cheques, bills of exchange, payment orders, securities and interest coupons for collection and, after cover has been provided, pay out the proceeds, except as the Bank may otherwise provide regarding the crediting of the proceeds of cheques and payment orders;

7. execute other banking transactions on behalf of third parties, after cover has been provided;

8. buy and sell payment media denominated in foreign currencies, including bills of exchange and cheques, claims and securities, and gold, silver and platinum;

9. carry out all banking transactions with non-residents.

(2) The discount and lombard rates shall be used for the transactions specified under numbers 1 to 3 of subsection (1) above.

20. Transactions with public authorities

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to conduct the transactions specified in section 19 (1) 4 to 9 above with the Federal Government, Federal special funds, Länder Governments and other public authorities; for this purpose, the Bank may grant intra-day credit. For such transactions the Bank may not charge the Federal Government or Federal special funds (with the exception of the Deutsche Bundespost POSTBANK and the Länder Governments) any expenses or fees.

(2) The Federal Government, Federal special funds and Länder Governments should issue debt securities and Treasury bills primarily through the Deutsche Bundesbank; failing this, such securities shall be issued in consultation with the Deutsche Bundesbank.

21. Open market operations

In order to regulate the money market, the Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to buy and sell in the open market at market prices

1. bills of exchange satisfying the requirements of section 19 (1) 1 above;

2. Treasury bills issued by the Federal Government, a Federal special fund or a Land Government;

3. debt securities and Debt Register claims payable by the Federal Government, one of its special funds or a Land Government;

4. other debt securities specified by the Bank.

22. Transactions with the general public

The Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to conduct the transactions specified in section 19 (1) 4 to 9 above with natural persons and corporations at home and abroad.

23. Certification of cheques

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank may certify cheques drawn on it only after cover has been provided. Such certification makes the Bank liable to the bearer for payment; it is also liable to the drawer and the endorser for payment.

(2) Payment of the certified cheque may not be refused, not even if the drawer has been adjudged insolvent in the meantime.

(3) The liability arising from the certification lapses if the cheque is not presented for payment within eight days of the date of drawing. As regards proof of presentation, article 40 of the Cheque Act (Scheckgesetz) applies.

(4) The claim arising from the certification is barred by the statute of limitations two years after the expiry of the period for presentation.

(5) The jurisdictional and procedural provisions applicable to bill-of-exchange cases apply as appropriate to the assertion in court of claims arising from the certification.

24. Lending against and purchase of equalisation claims

(1) Notwithstanding the qualifications contained in section 19 (1) 3 above, the Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to grant credit institutions and insurance enterprises loans against the collateral of equalisation claims

1. as defined in section 1 of the Act on the Redemption of Equalisation Claims, or

2. pursuant to Annex I article 8 section 4 of the Treaty of May 18, 1990 between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic Establishing a Monetary, Economic and Social Union, read in conjunction with article 1 of the Act of June 25, 1990 (Federal Law Gazette 1990 II, p. 518, 550) insofar, and as long, as this is necessary to maintain the solvency of the party providing the collateral.

(2) The Deutsche Bundesbank is entitled to buy equalisation claims of the type specified in subsection (1) 1 above, subject to the provisions of section 9 (1) of the Act on the Redemption of Equalisation Claims, insofar, and as long, as the resources of the Fund for the Purchase of Equalisation Claims are insufficient for the purpose.

25. Other transactions

The Deutsche Bundesbank should conduct transactions other than those authorised by sections 19 to 24 above or on the basis of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank only for the purpose of carrying out and completing authorised transactions, or for its own operations, or for its staff.

Part VI Annual accounts, distribution of profit and Return

26. Annual accounts

(1) The financial year of the Deutsche Bundesbank is the calendar year.

(2) The accounting system of the Deutsche Bundesbank shall comply with generally accepted accounting principles. The annual accounts shall be drawn up with due regard to the duties of the Deutsche Bundesbank, in particular those deriving from its being an integral part of the European System of Central Banks, and shall be published with appropriate notes thereon; the liability structure need not be disclosed. To the extent that the provisions of sentence 2 above do not necessitate any deviations, valuation shall be governed accordingly by the provisions of the Commercial Code relating to corporations. In the course of establishing the profit or loss, the creation of liability items for general risks associated with domestic and foreign business, such as is considered warranted in the light of reasonable commercial judgement and after due consideration of the duties of the Deutsche Bundesbank, remains unaffected.

(3) The Directorate shall draw up the annual accounts as soon as possible. The accounts shall be audited by one or more auditors appointed by the Central Bank Council in agreement with the Federal Court of Auditors (Bundesrechnungshof). The Central Bank Council then approves the annual accounts, which are thereupon to be published by the Directorate.

(4) The report of the auditors serves as the basis for the audit which the Federal Court of Auditors carries out. The report of the auditors, together with the comments of the Federal Court of Auditors thereon, shall be communicated to the Federal Ministry of Finance.

27. Distribution of profit

The net profit shall be distributed in the following order:

1. 20 per cent of the Bundesbank’s profit, but at least DM 500 million, shall be transferred to the statutory reserves until they equal DM 5 billion. The statutory reserves may only be used to offset falls in value and to cover other losses;

2. (repealed)

3. forty million Deutsche Mark, and from the financial year 1980 onwards thirty million Deutsche Mark, shall be transferred to the Fund for the Purchase of Equalisation Claims set up under the Act on the Redemption of Equalisation Claims until that Fund’s dissolution;

4. the balance shall be paid over to the Federal Government.

28. (repealed)

Part VII General provisions

29. Special status of the Deutsche Bundesbank

(1) The Central Bank Council and the Directorate of the Deutsche Bundesbank have the status of supreme Federal authorities (oberste Bundesbehörden). The Land Central Banks and branches have the status of Federal authorities. Effective from January 1, 1999 35

(2) The Deutsche Bundesbank and its staff enjoy the privileges granted to the Federal Government and its staff in the fields of construction, housing and rent. (3) The provisions of the Commercial Code concerning entries in the Commercial Register and the provisions concerning membership of Chambers of Industry and Commerce are not applicable to the Deutsche Bundesbank.

30. Notarial officials

The President of the Deutsche Bundesbank may appoint notarial officials for the purposes of section 11 (3) above. They must be qualified to hold the office of judge.

31. Legal status of the civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners of the Deutsche Bundesbank

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank employs civil servants (Beamte), other salaried staff (Angestellte) and wage earners (Arbeiter).

(2) The President of the Deutsche Bundesbank appoints the civil servants of the Bank, those of the Higher Service after nomination by the Central Bank Council. In the case of civil servants of the Upper Intermediate, Intermediate and Ordinary Services, he may delegate this power to the Presidents of the Land Central Banks. The President of the Deutsche Bundesbank is the supreme institutional authority (oberste Dienstbehörde), and in this capacity he represents the Bank in and out of court. He disciplines civil servants, except in matters within the jurisdiction of the disciplinary courts, and is the authority instituting formal disciplinary proceedings (section 35 of the Federal Disciplinary Code (Bundesdisziplinarordnung)).

(3) The civil servants of the Deutsche Bundesbank are indirect Federal civil servants. Except as otherwise provided by this Act, the regulations generally applicable to Federal civil servants apply to them. The entry into force of this Act takes the place of the entry into force of the Federal Civil Service Act (Bundesbeamtengesetz).

(4) Subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet, the Central Bank Council may regulate the legal status of the civil servants and other salaried staff of the Deutsche Bundesbank through staff regulations if the requirements of orderly and efficient banking operations necessitate it. The staff regulations may provide only

1. that, for civil servants of the Bank, the following provisions of the legislation regulating the status of Federal civil servants be departed from:

(a) sentence 2 of section 21, sentence 3 of section 24 and section 26 (1), section 30 (2), section 66 (1) 2 and 5, and section 116 (1) 3 of the Federal Civil Service Act;

(b) section 15 of the Civil Service Pay Act (Besoldungsgesetz) of December 16, 1927 (Reich Law Gazette I, page 349) as amended, insofar as a revocable, non-pensionable Bank Allowance not exceeding nineteen per cent of the basic salary, an allowance for expenses incurred on official business and a bonus for exceptional performance are granted as a bonus and/or a one-off payment;

(c) the provisions on the granting of maintenance allowances to civil servants undergoing preparatory training;

2. that the civil servants and other salaried staff of the Bank are required to notify the Bank of any gainful employment on the part of their spouses;

3. that the other salaried staff of the Bank

(a) like the civil servants, require prior permission to engage in any of the sidelines specified in section 66 (1) 2 and 5 of the Federal Civil Service Act,

(b) receive the payments specified under letter (b) of number 1 above.

4. that the wage earners receive the bonus for exceptional performance specified under letter (b) of number 1 above.

(5) The bonuses for exceptional performance and allowances for expenses incurred on official business specified in subsection (4) 1 (b) above may not, in the aggregate, exceed one-twentieth of the expenditure on the remuneration of the civil servants and other waged and salaried staff of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

(6) Subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet, the Central Bank Council issues regulations on the educational background and careers of civil servants of the Deutsche Bundesbank. It may depart from the provisions of the legislation regulating the status of Federal civil servants with respect to the duration of the preparatraining, the duration of the probationary period and the duration of the period of experience required for promotion in the Upper Intermediate Service and for qualifying for admission to the Higher Service.

32. Pledge of secrecy

All persons in the service of the Deutsche Bundesbank are pledged to secrecy about the affairs and facilities of the Bank, as well as the transactions it conducts. Without permission, they may not testify or make statements in or out of court about matters of these kinds which have come to their notice in the course of their activities, not even after they have left the service of the Bank. Where the interests of the Bank are involved, such permission is granted to members of the Central Bank Council by that Council, and to other members of the Bank’s staff by the President, who may delegate this power to the Presidents of the Land Central Banks; for a court hearing, permission may be refused only if this is necessary for the good of the Federal Government or in the public interest.

33. Public announcements

The Deutsche Bundesbank shall publish announcements intended for the general public particularly the calling-in of banknotes, the setting of interest rates, discount rates and minimum reserve ratios, and the ordering of statistics in the Fed eral Gazette.

34. By-laws

The by-laws of the Deutsche Bundesbank are adopted by the Central Bank Council. They are subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet, and shall be published in the Federal Gazette. The same applies to amendments of the by-laws.

Part VIII Provisions on penalties and on the detention of counterfeit money

35. Unauthorised uttering and use of monetary tokens

(1) A term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine will be imposed on anybody who

1. utters without authority monetary tokens (stamps, coins, notes or other instruments capable of being used in payments in place of the coins or banknotes authorised by law) or non-interest-bearing bearer debt securities, even if they are not denominated in Deutsche Mark;

2. uses for payments objects of the type specified in number 1 above that have been uttered without authority.

(2) The attempt is punishable.

(3) If the offence described in number 2 of subsection (1) above has been committed through negligence, the punishment shall be a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding one hundred and eighty daily rates.

36. Detention of counterfeit currency and of monetary tokens or debt securities that have been uttered without authority

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank and all credit institutions shall detain forged or falsified banknotes or coins (counterfeit currency), banknotes and coins suspected of being counterfeit currency, and objects of the type specified in section 35 above that have been uttered without authority. A receipt shall be given to the party concerned.

(2) Counterfeit currency and objects of the type specified in section 35 above shall be handed over to the police together with a report. Credit institutions shall notify the Deutsche Bundesbank of having done so.

(3) Banknotes and coins suspected of being counterfeit currency shall be submitted to the Deutsche Bundesbank for examination. If the Bank finds that the banknotes or coins are false, it shall hand over the counterfeit currency to the police, together with an experts’ report, and inform the detaining credit institution accordingly.

37. Confiscation

(1) Objects of the type specified in section 35 above that have been uttered without authority may be confiscated.

(2) Objects confiscated under subsection (1) above and counterfeit currency confiscated under section 150 of the Penal Code shall be preserved by the Deutsche Bundesbank. They may be destroyed, if the offender has been found, ten years after the judgement ordering confiscation becomes effective or, if the offender has not been found, twenty years thereafter.

Part IX Transitional and final provisions

38. Restructuring the central banking system

(1) On the entry into force of this Act, the assets of the Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank, together with their liabilities, pass in their entirety to the Bank deutscher Länder. No charge is made for the amendment of the Land Register. The Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank cease to exist without going into liquidation.

(2) With effect from January 1, 1957 the obligations of the Länder Governments in respect of equalisation claims held by the Land Central Banks in accordance with the provisions of the currency reform pass to the Federal Government, and the obligation of the Land of Berlin in respect of the debt securities held by the Federal Government in accordance with sentence 2 of section 23 (2) of the First Act Transferring Financial Burdens and Cover to the Federal Government (Erstes Gesetz zur Überleitung von Lasten und Deckungsmitteln auf den Bund), as amended up to August 21, 1951 (Federal Law Gazette I, page 779), lapses; if the conversion account of a Land Central Bank is adjusted after this Act has come into force, the Federal Government assumes all the consequent rights and obligations. The Bank pays the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia fifteen million Deutsche Mark and the Land of Berlin five million Deutsche Mark, plus interest at the rate of six per cent each from January 1, 1957 onwards, out of the balance of its profit payable to the Federal Government under number 4 of section 27 above. This is deemed to settle all the claims of the Länder Governments arising from the extinction of their shares in the Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank.

(3) The Bank refunds to the Länder Governments out of the balance of its profit payable to the Federal Government under number 4 of section 27 above, and after the payments provided for in subsection (2) above have been made, the interest those Governments have paid since January 1, 1957 on the equalisation claims of the Land Central Banks.

(4) The consequences arising from sentence 2 of section 2 above, read in conjunction with section 27 above, become operative with effect from January 1, 1957. The opening balance sheet of the Deutsche Bundesbank shall be approved as at that date, the provisions of section 26 above applying as appropriate.

(5) The notes of the Bank deutscher Länder that are valid when this Act comes into force will remain valid as notes of the Deutsche Bundesbank until they are called in by the Directorate. Stocks of unissued notes may continue to be issued.

39. Transitional provisions for the Executive Boards of Land Central Banks and for Advisory Boards

(1) The members of the Executive Boards of Land Central Banks existing on November 1, 1992, whose areas will change pursuant to section 8 (1) 4, 5, and 8 above, shall retire from office on November 1, 1992. They will receive their salaries as retirement pensions for the remainder of their contractual term of office, and thereafter the contractual standard retirement pension.

(2) The Advisory Boards of Land Central Banks existing on November 1, 1992 will be dissolved.

40. Changes in the terms of service

(1) On the entry into force of this Act, the civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners of the Bank deutscher Länder, the former Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank will become civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Permanent civil servants or civil servants on probation will receive the legal status of permanent civil servants or civil servants on probation under the Federal Civil Service Act; civil servants on revocable appointments will receive the legal status of civil servants on revocable appointments under the Federal Civil Service Act, unless, where the requirements of section 5 (1) 2 of the Federal Civil Service Act are satisfied, they are appointed to be civil servants on probation; the difference between a higher previous salary and the salary due after this Act has come into force will be made good by a non-pensionable compensatory allowance payable until it has been offset by salary increases; increases due to changes in civil status or changes in locality category and general salary increases resulting from changes in economic conditions will be disregarded.

(2) For the rest, the provisions of part III of chapter II of the General Act Regulating Civil Servants’ Rights and Duties (Beamtenrechtsrahmengesetz) apply. In this connection, the pension of a civil servant of the Deutsche Bundesbank who has been temporarily retired may not, for a period of five years, amount to less than fifty per cent of his pensionable salary, calculated on the basis of the final level of his salary grade. This does not apply to the calculation of surviving dependants’ pensions.

(3) On the entry into force of this Act, the retired civil servants, widows, orphans and other pensioners of the Bank deutscher Länder, the former Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank will become pensioners of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Section 180 of the Federal Civil Service Act applies as appropriate; the entry into force of this Act takes the place of the entry into force of the Federal Civil Service Act. Section 180 (4) of the Federal Civil Service Act applies to former civil servants of the Bank deutscher Länder, the former Land Central Banks and the Berlin Central Bank and their surviving dependants.

(4) Subsection (3) above applies as appropriate to the civil servants of the Deutsche Reichsbank who were re-employed in accordance with their former legal status at an office of the Deutsche Reichsbank in the Federal territory after May 8, 1945 and who retired without having passed into the service of the Bank deutscher Länder, a former Land Central Bank or the Berlin Central Bank, and to their surviving dependants.

(5) Any claims under the Federal Act Regulating the Indemnification of Government Employees for National Socialist Injustice (Bundesgesetz zur Regelung der Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts für Angehörige des öffentlichen Dienstes) and the Federal Act Regulating the Indemnification of Government Employees Living Abroad for National Socialist Injustice (Bundesgesetz zur Regelung der Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts für die im Ausland lebenden Angehörigen des öffentlichen Dienstes) of persons

1. who were wronged in the area of the Deutsche Reichsbank or

2. who, being members or former members of the staff of the Bank deutscher

Länder, the former Land Central Banks or the Berlin Central Bank, satisfy the requirements of section 22 (3) of the Act Regulating the Indemnification of Government Employees for National Socialist Injustice become claims on the Deutsche Bundesbank.

In the cases coming under number 1 above, this does not apply if another employer is required to provide indemnification under section 22 (3) of the above Act.

(6) Section 41 of this Act applies to persons who received or could have received pensions under the Act Regulating the Legal Status of Persons Coming within the Provisions of Article 131 of the Basic Law (Gesetz zur Regelung der Rechtsverhältnisse der unter Artikel 131 des Grundgesetzes fallenden Personen).

(7) (no longer valid transitional provision)

41. Legal status of persons coming within the provisions of article 131 of the Basic Law

(1) The Deutsche Bundesbank is a “corresponding institution” within the meaning of section 61 of the Act Regulating the Legal Status of Persons Coming within the Provisions of Article 131 of the Basic Law in relation to the Deutsche Reichsbank, the Nationalbank für Böhmen und Mähren and foreign central banks (number 19 of schedule A to section 2 (1) of the Act).

(2) Section 62 of the Act specified in subsection (1) above applies as appropriate to civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners of the Deutsche Reichsbank who were employed at offices of the Deutsche Reichsbank in the Federal territory and the Land of Berlin on May 8, 1945 and who

1. lost their post for reasons unconnected with the legislation regulating the status of civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners, and have not yet been re-employed in accordance with their former legal status or

2. reached the age of sixty-five, or became incapacitated for work, before the Act specified in subsection (1) above came into force, and are not receiving a corresponding, or any, pension for reasons unconnected with the legislation regulating the status of civil servants, other salaried staff and wage earners.

(3) For retired civil servants of the Deutsche Reichsbank who retired before September 1, 1953 (section 5 (1) 1, section 6 (2), section 35 (1) and section 48 of the Act specified in subsection (1) above), the previous basis of assessment in accordance with the Federal Civil Service Act (pensionable salaries, pension rates) is retained, subject to the modifications resulting from sections 7, 8, 29 (2) and (3) and sections 30, 31 and 35 (3) of the Act specified in subsection (1) above and sections 108, 112, 117 (1), section 140 (2) and sentences 1 and 2 of (3), section 156 (1), sections 181a and 181b of the Federal Civil Service Act; if the calculation of the pensionable period of service is based on a provision corresponding to section 117 (2) of the Federal Civil Service Act or to section 181 (5) of the Federal Civil Service Act as amended up to June 30, 1975, section 117 (3) of the Federal Civil Service Act applies as appropriate. The pension shall not exceed seventy-five per cent of the pensionable salary. The same applies as appropriate to surviving dependants. The second clause of sentence 6 of section 64 (1) of the Act specified in subsection (1) above applies.

(4) The President of the Deutsche Bundesbank is the supreme institutional authority for the persons to whom the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) above apply.

In this capacity he represents the Bank in and out of court. In the cases coming under subsection (1) above, he takes the place of the Federal Ministry of Finance insofar as the participation of that Ministry is prescribed in the Act specified therein and in the provisions of the legislation regulating the status of officials applicable under that Act.

42. Issue of liquidity paper

(1) The Federal Government shall supply the Deutsche Bundesbank on request with Treasury bills or Treasury discount paper in denominations and on terms of the Bank’s choice (liquidity paper) up to the maximum amount of 50 billion Deutsche Mark. The liquidity paper is payable at the Bank. The Bank is liable to the Federal Government for meeting all obligations arising from the liquidity paper.

(2) The par value of the liquidity paper issued shall be entered in a special account by the Deutsche Bundesbank. The funds may be used only to redeem liquidity paper that has fallen due or been repurchased by the Bank prior to maturity.

(3) The Federal Ministry of Finance is entitled to issue liquidity paper pursuant to subsection (1) above.

43. (Repeal of and amendments to legislation)

44. Dissolution

The Deutsche Bundesbank may be dissolved only by an Act of Parliament. The Dissolution Act will determine how the assets shall be applied.

45. Transitional provision

(1) Section 2 sentence 2 and section 27 (1), both as amended by the Sixth Act Amending the Bundesbank Act1, are to be applied to the annual accounts for the first time on the reference day immediately preceding the start of the first year of the Federal Republic of Germany’s participation in the third stage of monetary union in accordance with Article 109j of the EC Treaty.

Section 26 (2) sentences 2 and 3, as amended by the Sixth Act Amending the Bundesbank Act, are to be applied for the first time to the following accounting year.

(2) The reserves formed hitherto pursuant to section 27 (2), as amended up to the day before the entry into force of the Sixth Act Amending the Bundesbank Act 1 as specified in Article 2 sentence 2 of the Act, and the statutory reserves exceeding the amount of DM 5 billion, will be dissolved on the reference date immediately preceding the start of the first year of the Federal Republic of Germany’s participation in the third stage of monetary union pursuant to Article 109j of the EC Treaty. The funds arising from the dissolution of the reserves will be added to the capital until this amounts to DM 5 billion. The excess amount will be transferred to the net profit.

46. (repealed)

47. (Entry into force)


Footnote

1 Article 2 of the Sixth Act Amending the Bundesbank Act states:

Article 1 numbers 5, 6 and 8 shall enter into force on the day after promulgation. All other parts of this Act shall enter into force on the date from which the Federal Republic of Germany participates in the monetary union pursuant to Article 109j of the EU Treaty; that date is to be announced in the Federal Law Gazette.


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