The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper combines financial soundness indicators (FSIs) and stress-testing methodologies to provide a broad assessment of the soundness of Venezuela's banking sector, based on a diagnosis of its structural and transient shortcomings. While the Venezuelan banking sector appears sound under current favorable economic conditions, it remains significantly vulnerable to cyclical downturns-which have been severe in the past. Banks are particularly exposed to interest rate and credit risks. This suggests that the strong FSIs may be partly the result of a conjunctural credit boom in the context of capital controls and very low real interest rates.