The European Central Bank
The European Central Bank (ECB) is a large and important bank for the European Union. It brings together all the national banks of the countries where people pay with the euro. National banks mainly have the banks of a country as customers.
The ECB was founded by the European Union in 1998. At that time, the politicians in the EU thought: we need a common bank that centrally controls and manages money transactions in Europe.
The ECB's most important task is to ensure that the euro is doing well. Above all, this currency should not lose too much of its value. The ECB is also supposed to make sure that everything is as fair as possible. Banks, for example, should charge fair interest on loans. Loans are borrowed money.
The ECB also lends money to normal banks in the EU countries. In this way it controls the flow of money in Europe. The ECB has currency reserves. These are euros that it keeps for economically bad times. At the moment it has almost 40 billion euros.
The ECB also has a head, the ECB president. At the moment, this is a woman, the Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde. Since 2015, the ECB has had its main building in a new high-rise in the centre of Frankfurt am Main.