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Pelin Berkmen, Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Mr. Javier Arze del Granado, Kotaro Ishi, Marie Kim, Emanuel Kopp, and Mrs. Marina V Rousset
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), financial technology has been growing rapidly and is on the agenda of many policy makers. Fintech provides opportunities to deepen financial development, competition, innovation, and inclusion in the region but also creates new and only partially understood risks to consumers and the financial system. This paper documents the evolution of fintech in LAC. In particular, the paper focuses on financial development, fintech landscape for domestic and cross border payments and alternative financing, cybersecurity, financial integrity and stability risks, regulatory responses, and considerations for central bank digital currencies.
Mr. Dong He, Mr. Ross B Leckow, Mr. Vikram Haksar, Mr. Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, Nigel Jenkinson, Ms. Mikari Kashima, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Ms. Celine Rochon, and Hervé Tourpe
A new wave of technological innovations, often called “fintech,” is accelerating change in the financial sector. What impact might fintech have on financial services, and how should regulation respond? This paper sets out an economic framework for thinking through the channels by which fintech might provide solutions that respond to consumer needs for trust, security, privacy, and better services, change the competitive landscape, and affect regulation. It combines a broad discussion of trends across financial services with a focus on cross-border payments and especially the impact of distributed ledger technology. Overall, the paper finds that boundaries among different types of service providers are blurring; barriers to entry are changing; and improvements in cross-border payments are likely. It argues that regulatory authorities need to balance carefully efficiency and stability trade-offs in the face of rapid changes, and ensure that trust is maintained in an evolving financial system. It also highlights the importance of international cooperation.
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.
Mr. Dong He, Mr. Karl F Habermeier, Mr. Ross B Leckow, Mr. Vikram Haksar, Ms. Yasmin Almeida, Ms. Mikari Kashima, Mr. Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Natalia Stetsenko, and Ms. Concha Verdugo Yepes
New technologies are driving transformational changes in the global financial system. Virtual currencies (VCs) and the underlying distributed ledger systems are among these. VCs offer many potential benefits, but also considerable risks. VCs could raise efficiency and in the long run strengthen financial inclusion. At the same time, VCs could be potential vehicles for money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and fraud. While risks to the conduct of monetary policy seem less likely to arise at this stage given the very small scale of VCs, risks to financial stability may eventually emerge as the new technologies become more widely used. National authorities have begun to address these challenges and will need to calibrate regulation in a manner that appropriately addresses the risks without stifling innovation. As experience is gained, international standards and best practices could be considered to provide guidance on the most appropriate regulatory responses in different fields, thereby promoting harmonization and cooperation across jurisdictions.
Mr. Alexander Massara and André Mialou
This paper leverages the IMF’s Financial Access Survey (FAS) database to construct a new composite index of financial inclusion. The topic of financial inclusion has gathered significant attention in recent years. Various initiatives have been undertaken by central banks both in advanced and developing countries to promote financial inclusion. The issue has also attracted increasing interest from the international community with the G-20, IMF, and World Bank Group assuming an active role in developing and collecting financial inclusion data and promoting best practices to improve financial inclusion. There is general recognition among policy makers that financial inclusion plays a significant role in sustaining employment, economic growth, and financial stability. Nonetheless, the issue of its robust measurement is still outstanding. The new composite index uses factor analysis to derive a weighting methodology whose absence has been the most persistent of the criticisms of previous indices. Countries are then ranked based on the new composite index, providing an additional analytical tool which could be used for surveillance and policy purposes on a regular basis.
Mr. Olaf Unteroberdoerster and Ms. Runchana Pongsaparn
The paper shows that Asia's degree of financial integration, both with the world and within the region remains low by various measures. The paper also provides empirical evidence that greater financial integration can support economic rebalancing in statistically meaningful ways. The implication is that in the debate on managing capital inflows the longer-term benefits of financial openness for broader-based growth should not be forgotten.
Mr. Yifei Huang and Mr. Raju J Singh
Recent studies on the relationship between financial development and poverty have been inconclusive. Some claim that, by allowing more entrepreneurs to obtain financing, financial development improves the allocation of capital, which has a particularly large impact on the poor. Others argue that it is primarily the rich and politically connected who benefit from improvements in the financial system. This paper looks at a sample of 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa from 1992 through 2006. Its results suggest that financial deepening could narrow income inequality and reduce poverty, and that stronger property rights reinforce these effects. Interest rate and lending liberalization alone could, however, be detrimental to the poor if not accompanied by institutional reforms, in particular stronger property rights and wider access to creditor information.
Mr. Garry J. Schinasi
The main objective of this paper is to propose a definition of financial stability that has some practical and operational relevance. Financial stability is defined in terms of its ability to facilitate and enhance economic processes, manage risks, and absorb shocks. Moreover, financial stability is considered a continuum: changeable over time and consistent with multiple combinations of the constituent elements of finance. The paper also discusses several practical implications of the definition that should be considered when using it for policy analysis or developing an analytical framework.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the emergence of financial stability as a key policy objective. It discusses the underlying trends in the financial system, as well as the role of finance in relation to money, the real economy, and public policy. Financial stability is defined in terms of its ability to help the economic system allocate resources, manage risks, and absorb shocks. Moreover, financial stability is considered a continuum, changeable over time and consistent with multiple combinations of its constituent elements. On the basis of these concepts, a framework is presented that comprises an encompassing analysis and assessment of financial stability, and maps out broad policy implications.