The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) was established by virtue of the Law No. 32 of 1968 concerning Currency, the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Organization of Banking Business. CBK replaced the Kuwaiti Currency Board established by virtue of the Amiri Decree No. 41 of 1960. The role of the Kuwaiti Currency Board was limited to the issuance of banknotes and coins, unlike central banks' broad responsibilities ranging from setting and implementing monetary policies to the regulation and supervision of banking activities. CBK's establishment, hence, was in response of the need to keeping pace with domestic and international developments, particularly in view of the increasingly important role of the monetary and financial policy contributing to the advancement of social and economic development in the country.
CBK commenced operation on the 1st of April 1969, in fulfillment of the following core objectives stated in Article 15 of its Law No. 32 of 1968:
- issue the national currency on behalf of the State.
- maintain the relative stability of the Kuwaiti Dinar, and secure its free convertibility into foreign currencies.
- to direct the credit policy with the aim to contribute to the social and economic progress and enhance the national income.
- to supervise the State's banking system.
- to serve as a banker to the government.
- to serve as a financial adviser to the government.
The paid-up capital of the Central Bank of Kuwait shall be five million Kuwaiti Dinars, fully paid up by the government. This capital may be increased by a decree, and such increase shall be withdrawn from the General Reserve of the CBK.
The Central Bank of Kuwait is managed by a Board of Directors encompassing the Governor of CBK - chairman, and the Deputy Governor of CBK, both appointed by a decree for a five-year renewable term. The Board of Directors also comprises of a representative of the Ministry of Finance, a representative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and four other members with proven experience in the economic, financial and banking affairs, appointed by a decree for a three-year renewable term.