The idea for setting up the bank was proposed by India at the 4th BRICS summit in 2012 held in Delhi. The creation of a new development bank was the main theme on the agenda for the summit. BRICS leaders agreed to set up a Development bank at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa on 27 March 2013.
On 15 July 2014, the first day of the 6th BRICS summit held in Fortaleza, Brazil, the BRICS states signed the Agreement on the New Development Bank, which is after its entry into force to form the legal basis for the bank. The Agreement contains the Articles of Agreement of the Bank, and stipulates the total capital of $100 billion BRICS Development Bank, 12.5% of which is to be paid in by the members in the first 7 years. In a separate agreement, a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion was setup. Both are partly motivated by the desire to counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions. Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of cooperation on innovation were also signed.
Shanghai was selected as the headquarters after competition from New Delhi and Johannesburg. An African regional center will be set up in Johannesburg.
The first president will be from India, the inaugural Chairman of the Board of directors will come from Brazil  and the inaugural chairman of the Board of Governors will be Russian.