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Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Nemanja Jovanovic, Ms. Laura Valderrama, and Jing Zhou
The spread of COVID-19, containment measures, and general uncertainty led to a sharp reduction in activity in the first half of 2020. Europe was hit particularly hard—the economic contraction in 2020 is estimated to have been among the largest in the world—with potentially severe repercussions on its nonfinancial corporations. A wave of corporate bankruptcies would generate mass unemployment, and a loss of productive capacity and firm-specific human capital. With many SMEs in Europe relying primarily on the banking sector for external finance, stress in the corporate sector could easily translate into pressures in the banking system (Aiyar et al., forthcoming).
Mr. Marc C Dobler, Ender Emre, Alessandro Gullo, and Deeksha Kale
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: advantages and disadvantages of different types of depositor preference, international best practice and experience in adopting depositor preference, and introducing depositor preference in jurisdictions with or without deposit insurance.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Denmark’s insurance sector is highly developed with a particularly high penetration and density in the life sector. Traditionally, work-related life insurance and pension savings are offered as a combined package, and life insurance companies dominate the market for mandatory pension schemes for employees. The high penetration explains the overall size of the insurance sector, which exceeds those of peers from other Nordic countries and various other EU member states. Assets managed by the insurance industry amounted to 146 percent of the GDP at end-2018, compared to 72 percent for the EU average.
Mr. Ashok Vir Bhatia, Ms. Srobona Mitra, Anke Weber, Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Luiza Antoun de Almeida, Cristina Cuervo, Mr. Andre O Santos, and Tryggvi Gudmundsson
This note weighs the merits of a capital market union (CMU) for Europe, identifies major obstacles in its path, and recommends a set of carefully targeted policy actions. European capital markets are relatively small, resulting in strong bank-dependence, and are split sharply along national lines. Results include an uneven playing field in terms of corporate funding costs, the rationing out of collateral-constrained firms, and limited shock absorption. The benefits of integration center on expanding financial choice, ultimately to support capital formation and resilience. Capital market development and integration would support a healthy diversity in European finance. Proceeding methodically, the note identifies three key barriers to greater capital market integration in Europe: transparency, regulatory quality, and insolvency practices. Based on these findings, the note urges three policy priorities, focused on the three barriers. There is no roadblock—such steps should prove feasible without a new grand bargain.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper presents an assessment of the Observance of Insurance Core Principles in New Zealand. Observance of these principles in New Zealand falls significantly short. In some areas, the implementation of initiatives that would improve observance is incomplete. Supervisory risk assessment and enhancement of regulatory reporting by insurers are limited, which compromises effective off-site supervision, macroprudential analysis, and publication of aggregate information on the market. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand should focus in regulation and supervisory work on setting standards on corporate governance, risk management, and internal controls. It should assess risk in these areas to promote the effectiveness of insurers’ governance.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper provides an assessment of the insurance sector in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has one of the deepest, most developed insurance markets in the world. Insurance penetration is 50 percent higher than in the European Union or other advanced economies, and the expenditure per capita in insurance amounts to US$5,429 as compared with US$3,815 in the advanced economies. The supervisory approach of both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are forward-looking and risk-based. However, improved data availability and an enhanced risk appetite statement are required. Notwithstanding stronger enforcement on supervisory and enforcement actions, important challenges still need to be addressed by the FCA.
Christoph Aymanns, Carlos Caceres, Christina Daniel, and Miss Liliana B Schumacher
Understanding the interaction between bank solvency and funding cost is a crucial pre-requisite for stress-testing. In this paper we study the sensitivity of bank funding cost to solvency measures while controlling for various other measures of bank fundamentals. The analysis includes two measures of bank funding cost: (a) average funding cost and (b) interbank funding cost as a proxy of wholesale funding cost. The main findings are: (1) Solvency is negatively and significantly related to measures of funding cost, but the effect is small in magnitude. (2) On average, the relationship is stronger for interbank funding cost than for average funding cost. (3) During periods of stress interbank funding cost is more sensitive to solvency than in normal times. Finally, (4) the relationship between funding cost and solvency appears to be non-linear, with higher sensitivity of funding cost at lower levels of solvency.