This Selected Issues paper on Samoa reports that remittances are the main source of foreign exchange to the Samoan economy. In addition to remittances, travel credits also play an important role in the economy. Official transfers are also significant, and should remain an important source of balance-of-payments support over the medium term. Remittances are relatively more stable when measured in the remitting country’s currency compared with talas. Remittance receipts account for a similar share of income across different household income groups, except for the richest one.
This Detailed Assessment of Compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Samoa highlights general preconditions for effective banking supervision. The Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) should consider introducing some straightforward specific capital charges for market price risk and foreign exchange risk. The CBS should require banks to have in place mechanisms for regularly valuing collateral and assessing the strength of guarantees. Several recommendations to further improve the regulatory role of the CBS in accordance with current international standards have been noted and future efforts shall focus on incorporating and developing these as appropriate.
The role of the World Bank in a changing financial environment is discussed. The World Bank has made several notable changes in its financial structure and operations to assure its continuing financial strength in changing circumstances. Both the front-end fee and the variable lending rate system permit the Bank to pass through to borrowers the consequences of adverse interest rate movements. The Bank’s new financial policy has significantly increased its flexibility and reduced its vulnerability to financial turbulence.
Globalization requires enhanced information flows among financial regulators. Standard-setting bodies for financial sector regulation provide extensive guidance, but financial sector assessments have often found that problems in cooperation and information exchange continue to constrain cross-border supervision and financial integrity oversight. In July 2004, the IMF organized a conference on cross-border cooperation for standard setters, financial intelligence units (FIUs), and financial regulatory agencies. This book brings together conference papers in which participants discuss: information exchange for an effective anti–money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, in terms of both standards and practices; the standards for cooperation in the insurance sector; and the experiences of regulators from banking, securities, and unified regulatory agencies with international cooperation. The book also includes papers providing a general overview of international standards and their implementation and, on the basis of survey results, of practices among financial sector regulators and FIUs.