The Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions (SBIF) of Chile was established in 1925 by the General Banking Act. It is a public, autonomous institution and its statutes can be found in Title I of the revised text of the General Banking Act.
The SBIF relates to the Government through the Ministry of Finance.
The General Banking Act calls upon the SBIF to supervise the banks and other financial institutions of the country in order to protect depositors and other banking customers, as well as preserve the public interest.
The SBIF chief executive officer is the Superintendent, who is appointed by the President of Chile. Currently its upper management structure is formed by Superintendent Eric Parrado and Deputy Superintendents Jorge Cayazzo and Luis Figueroa. Eight divisions comprise the rest of the management structure to complement the work of the executive officers.
As of March 1st, 2016, the number of banking institutions authorized to operate in Chile were 23, excluding the Central Bank of Chile. They are subject to the General Banking Act and the regulations from the SBIF. Article 40 of that Act defines what a bank is and indicates the primary function of a banking institution is to receive money from the public in order to loan it, to discount bills of exchange, to invest, to get involved in financial mediation, to make deposits grow and, in general, to undertake any financial transaction permitted by law. Furthermore, the Act —in article 69— indicates a series of other operations that banks in Chile are authorized to perform.