The standardized system of coinage originated in the Greek kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor around 600 B.C., during the reign of King Alyattes. The precursors to Greek banks were the temples of ancient Greece. However, while the temples provided secure storage, they did not pay any interest on their deposits. The forerunner of the Greek central bank was the National Bank of Greece, which gradually acquired a monopoly over the issue of bank notes in the country. The Bank of Greece, established in response to a proposal from the League of Nations, began operations in 1928 as the official Greek central bank. During the Second World War, the governor of the bank went into exile and its gold reserves were transferred first to South Africa and then to London for safekeeping. The independence of the Bank of Greece increased significantly due to reforms undertaken in the 1980s. The Greek financial sector was deregulated in the 1980s, which also changed the role of the Bank of Greece as the financial regulator. Pursuant to accession to the European Union, amendments passed in 1998 and 2000 explicitly stated price stability as the primary objective of the bank. As with the rest of the Eurozone, monetary policy in Greece is now under the purview of the ECB.