The Central Bank of Argentina
(, BCRA) is the central bank
Established by six Acts of Congress
enacted on May 28, 1935, the bank replaced Argentina's Currency board
, which had been in operation since 1890. Its first President was Ernesto Bosch
, who served in that capacity from 1935 to 1945.
The Central Bank's headquarters on San Martín Street (in the heart of Buenos Aires' old financial district
, known locally as the city
), was originally designed in 1872 by architects Henry Hunt and Hans Schroeder. Completed in 1876, the Italian Renaissance
-inspired building initially housed the Mortgage Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires
. The Central Bank's offices were transferred to an adjacent address upon its establishment, and were expanded to their present size by the purchase of the Mortgage Bank building in 1940, as well as by the construction of a twin building behind it.
The Central Bank was a private entity during its first decade, and British Empire
interests held a majority stake. Pursuant to the Roca–Runciman Treaty
of 1933, Central Bank reserves accrued from Argentine trade surpluses with the United Kingdom
were deposited in escrow
at the Bank of England
, and this clause, which had led to over US$1 billion in inaccessible reserves (more than half the total) by 1945, prompted the Central Bank's nationalization by order of Juan Perón
in December.Lewis, Paul. The Crisis of Argentine......