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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note provides an update and assessment of developments in insurance supervision since 2014. It is part of the 2020 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) and draws on discussions there from September 10 to 24, 2019. It has not been updated for the impact of recent global events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The insurance sector is large, especially long-term (life) insurance, highly international and has been growing steadily. The long-term market is amongst the world’s largest, particularly by penetration (premiums to GDP). Growth has been supported by the popularity of savings products, including sales of policies to Mainland Chinese visitors (MCVs), although these have declined from their peak. The general insurance sector, though comprising many more companies, is relatively small and spread over many lines. The authorities have identified scope for growth in protection policies as well as opportunities for captive and specialty lines related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Tax incentives have supported the recent successful introduction of new annuity and health insurance products. Although foreign-owned companies account for a large share of business, the HKSAR is the home of three major domestic groups operating internationally.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The coverage of risks has become more systematic since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC): staff reports now regularly identify major risks and provide an assessment of their likelihood and economic impact, summarized in Risk Assessment Matrices (RAM). But still limited attention is paid to the range of possible outcomes. Also, risk identification is useful only so much as to inform policy design to preemptively respond to relevant risks and/or better prepare for them. In this regard, policy recommendations in surveillance could be richer in considering various risk management approaches. To this end, progress is needed on two dimensions: • Increasing emphasis on the range of potential outcomes to improve policy design. • Encouraging more proactive policy advice on how to manage risks. Efforts should continue to leverage internal and external resources to support risk analysis and advice in surveillance.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note provides a summary of the review of systemic risk oversight arrangements and macroprudential policy issues in Canada. The paper discusses the existing systemic risk oversight arrangements and potential challenges, and then presents steps that can be taken to modernize the framework to ensure its effectiveness going forward. The paper focuses on systemic risk surveillance, including the current approaches and existing challenges such as data gaps and coordination. It also covers macroprudential policy issues, including the toolkit, the current policy stance and overall policy effectiveness. The review recommends that steps can be taken to improve the current system with a more formalized arrangement for systemic risk oversight. A single body in charge of systemic risk oversight would be the first-best option. Over time, the authorities should review whether systemic risk oversight under the Heads of Agencies Committee leadership with no statutory mandate is adequate. Macroprudential policy at the federal level has been effective; however, better coordination is essential given multiple provincial authorities’ ownership of prudential tools.
International Monetary Fund
This note provides a report on the Observance of Standards and Codes in France, and provides updates on the transparency in monetary and financial policies. The framework for supervision and regulation applicable to a specific group of mutual insurance firms has been modified by adjusting the law governing these institutions to comply with European regulations concerning insurance. Once implementing regulations are in effect, these insurance companies will need to meet the same solvency rules as provided in the insurance code.