The Chinese economy would be nothing without the People's Bank of China. The central bank controls monetary policy, sets the exchange rate, regulates the gold market, manages the state treasury, and oversees other financial institutions. Like the Federal Reserve System in the US, the People's Bank of China lends money to commercial banks as necessary. It also issues currency. In mainland China, the reminbi is the name of the currency, and the yuan is the base unit (like the dollar). The People's Bank of China operates nine regional branches in addition to its headquarters in Beijing. The bank was established in 1948, and until 1978 it was the only bank in China. It became the country's central bank in 1983.