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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This technical note discusses anti-money laundering and combating the financing terrorism (AML-CFT) supervision of the banking sector in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The decision to focus on the AML/CFT supervision of the WAEMU banking sector was based on the remit of the regional authorities; the importance to the regional economy of a well-integrated and well-functioning banking sector; and the results of money laundering and terrorist financing national risk assessments conducted to date in West Africa, which identify banks as relatively high-risk financial institutions. The AML/CFT off-site supervision program feeds into the risk-rating process but is not itself risk-based and communication with supervised entities is insufficient. Feedback to banks as part of off-site supervision should be enhanced, the on-site inspection methodology should be sharpened, and the risk-based approach should be fully implemented. The observations and recommendations in this report are based on discussions with regional and national authorities and the private sector as well as a review of relevant templates.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The paper highlights a technical note on Basel Core Principles (BCP) for Effective Banking Supervision for the Sweden financial sector assessment program. The authorities have adopted a number of regulatory reforms to enhance the resilience of the Swedish financial system. The key changes to the legal framework for banks and banking supervision in Sweden have mainly been a direct result of legal initiatives at European Union level. The supervisory framework for banks and its implementation in Sweden is broadly in line with a number of the BCP essential criteria. However, several gaps should be addressed, to enhance the effectiveness of banking supervision in Sweden and to contribute toward ensuring a safe financial system. Most of the shortcomings that have been identified are attributable to gaps in the legal or regulatory frameworks and to significant resource constraints within the banking supervision function at Financial Supervisory Authority (FI). Sweden has a relatively efficient supervisory framework that has evolved over the years, but which requires enhancements to align with best practice. FI’s supervision follows a risk-based approach, where most of its resources are devoted to the largest institutions and significant branches in Sweden. The principle of disclosure and transparency is well established in the Swedish context.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
While domestic money laundering (ML) threats are well understood by the authorities, Ireland faces significant and increasing threats from foreign criminal proceeds. As a growing international financial center,1 Ireland is exposed to inherent transnational money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) related risks. The ML risks facing Ireland include illicit proceeds from foreign crimes (e.g., corruption, tax crimes). Retail and international banks, trust and company service providers (TCSPs),2 lawyers, and accountants are medium to high-risk for ML, while virtual asset service providers (VASPs) pose emerging risks. Brexit, the recent move of international banks to Dublin, and the COVID-19 pandemic increased the money laundering risks faced by Ireland. The Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) nevertheless has demonstrated a deep and robust experience in assessing and understanding their domestic ML/TF risks; however, an increased focus on risks related to transnational illicit financial flows is required. A thematic risk assessment undertaken by the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Committee (AMLSC) of international ML/TF risks would enhance the authorities’ risk understanding and is key to effective response to the rapid financial sector growth. Introducing data analytics tools, including machine learning to leverage potentially available big data on cross-border payments, would allow for efficient detection of emerging risks. The results of this assessment should be published to improve the understanding of transnational ML/TF risks and feed into the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policy priorities going forward.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Much of the work of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the missions ending on February 13, 2020. Given the FSAP’s focus on medium-term challenges and vulnerabilities, however, its findings and recommendations for strengthening policy and institutional frameworks remain pertinent. The report was updated to reflect key developments and policy changes since the mission work was completed. It also includes a risk analysis that quantifies the possible impact of the COVID-19 crisis on bank solvency. Since the previous FSAP in 2015, the Norwegian authorities have taken welcome steps to strengthen the financial system. Regulatory capital requirements for banks were raised and actions were taken to bolster the weak capital position of insurers. Alongside other macroprudential measures, temporary borrower-based measures for residential mortgages were introduced, which seem to have had some moderating impact on segments of the housing market. The resolution framework was also strengthened, with the implementation of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the designation of Finanstilsynet (FSA) as the resolution authority.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
COVID-19 pandemic: The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) work was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this Technical Note (TN) does not assess the impact of the crisis or the recent crisis-related policy measures. Nonetheless, given the FSAP’s focus on vulnerabilities and policy frameworks, the findings and recommendations of the TN remain pertinent. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) has improved standards in its oversight of banking and insurance sectors since the last FSAP. Nevertheless, risks persist, both in traditional forms, and new areas, such as cyber risk, AML, and innovative market entrants. This note, selects topics to meet evolving supervisory challenges and the expectation that the international supervisory standards themselves will likewise continue to rise.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment concerning Finland. It reveals that Finland’s banking system remains well capitalized and profitable. Although low interest rates have squeezed net interest income, banks have increased income from trading and insurance and reduced cost-income ratios, helping to maintain profitability. Nonperforming loans have remained low and capitalization ratios are well above requirements, though buffers may be exaggerated by the aggressive use of risk weights. The Net Stable Funding Ratio suggests that vulnerabilities from maturity mismatches are limited in aggregate. Nevertheless, previously identified vulnerabilities remain, and some have increased.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper provides a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its scope and objectives, the size and uses of the TA contribution, and assessments of its TA activities and scholarship programs—with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2009. Japan has provided grant contributions to support IMF technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the scope of the administered account was widened to allow for financing other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific, carried out through the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo. Regular consultations are held between the IMF and the Japanese authorities; the most recent formal meeting took place in April 2009. The use of JSA resources is flexible. JSA funds can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees.