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​​​Brief history

As Costa Rica’s economic and banking activity grew, a need arose to create a Central Bank to serve as a higher authority than that exercised by the Currency Issuing Office, which up to that point (1945) was attached to Banco Nacional de Costa Rica. The Banco Nacional was established toward the end of 1936, when the former International Bank was reorganized. 

In 1948, when private banks were nationalized by decree (deposit-taking from the general public) and considering the need to provide the then-new National Banking System with an adequate organic  integration and an effective State direction, it became more of an imperative to create a Central Bank to function as an autonomous body to govern the country’s economic, monetary, and credit policy. Law No. 1130 from 28 January 1950 was enacted to this end. Thus, the Central Bank of Costa Rica was established with its own, duly defined characteristics, so that it could serve as a Centralized Body governing the country’s economy. 

 Due to the relevance such founding had for the country’s banking history, the Bill that resulted in Law No. 1130 includes several rationale to support the decision of the Executive and Legislative Branches to issue and pass this law, which was initially transitory in nature, as the Central Bank would have the same functions and powers that the Banco Nacional’s Issuing Department had, until it stopped operating altogether.  At that point the Central Bank began operating subject to the provisions of both laws - the one it was founded under, and the law governing the Issuing Department. Law No. 1552, namely Organic Law of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, was subsequently enacted on 23 April 1953, and was in turn replaced by Law 7558 of 3 November 1995.