The Österreichische Nationalbank (ÖNB) is the central bank of the Republic of Austria and, as such, an integral part of both the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurozone. In the public interest, the National Bank of Austria contributes to monetary and economic policy decision-making in Austria and in the Euro area. In line with the Federal Act on the Österreichische Nationalbank, the ÖNB is a stock corporation. Given its status as a central bank, it is, however, governed by a number of special provisions, as laid down in the Nationalbank Act. The ÖNB's capital totals EUR 12 million. Since May 2010 this capital is entirely held by the state of Austria. Previously half of the capital was in the hands of employer and employee organizations as well as banks and insurance corporations.
The main tasks of the ÖNB center on contributing to a stability-oriented monetary policy within the Eurozone, safeguarding financial stability in Austria and supplying the general public and the business community in Austria with high-quality, i.e. counterfeit-proof, cash. In addition, the ÖNB manages reserve assets, i.e. gold and foreign exchange holdings, with a view to backing the euro in times of crisis, draws up economic analyses, compiles statistical data, is active in international organizations and is responsible for payment systems oversight. Furthermore, the ÖNB operates a payment system for the euro, promotes knowledge and understanding among the general public and decision makers owing to its comprehensive communication policy, and supports research in Austria.