The Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund were adopted at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference (Bretton Woods, New Hampshire) on July 22, 1944. They were originally accepted by 29 countries and since then have been signed and ratified by a total of 189 Member countries. As the charter of the organization, the Articles lay out the Fund’s purposes, which include the promotion of “international monetary cooperation through a permanent institution which provides the machinery for consultation and collaboration on international monetary problems”. The Articles also establish the mandate of the Organization and its members’ rights and obligations, its governance structure and roles of its organs, and lays out various rules of operations including those related to the conduct of its operations and transactions regarding the Special Drawing Rights. The key functions of the IMF are the surveillance of the international monetary system and the monitoring of members’ economic and financial policies, the provision of Fund resources to member countries in need, and the delivery of technical assistance and financial services.
Since their adoption in 1944, the Articles of Agreement have been amended seven times, with the latest amendment adopted on December 15, 2010 (effective January 26, 2016). The Articles are complemented by the By-laws of the Fund adopted by the Board of Governors, themselves being supplemented by the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Executive Board.
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.
Jihad Dagher, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Mr. Luc Laeven, Mr. Lev Ratnovski, and Mr. Hui Tong
The appropriate level of bank capital and, more generally, a bank’s capacity to absorb losses, has been at the core of the post-crisis policy debate. This paper contributes to the debate by focusing on how much capital would have been needed to avoid imposing losses on bank creditors or resorting to public recapitalizations of banks in past banking crises. The paper also looks at the welfare costs of tighter capital regulation by reviewing the evidence on its potential impact on bank credit and lending rates. Its findings broadly support the range of loss absorbency suggested by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Basel Committee for systemically important banks.
Countries implementing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for loan loss provisioning by banks have been guided by two different approaches: International Accounting Standards (IAS) 39 and Basel standards. This paper discusses the different accounting and regulatory approaches in loan loss provisioning, and the challenges supervisors face when there are different perspectives and lack of guidance from IFRS. It suggests actions that supervisors can take to help banks meet regulatory and capital requirements and, at the same time, comply with accounting principles.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Martin Cihak, Mr. Papa M N'Diaye, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Ms. Diana B Ayala Pena, Ran Bi, Miss Yuan Gao, Ms. Annette J Kyobe, Lam Nguyen, Christian Saborowski, Katsiaryna Svirydzenka, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
The global financial crisis experience shone a spotlight on the dangers of financial systems that have grown too big too fast. This note reexamines financial deepening, focusing on what emerging markets can learn from the advanced economy experience. It finds that gains for growth and stability from financial deepening remain large for most emerging markets, but there are limits on size and speed. When financial deepening outpaces the strength of the supervisory framework, it leads to excessive risk taking and instability. Encouragingly, the set of regulatory reforms that promote financial depth is essentially the same as those that contribute to greater stability. Better regulation—not necessarily more regulation—thus leads to greater possibilities both for development and stability.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The October 2013 Global Financial Stability Report examines current risks facing the global financial system at it undergoes a series of transitions along the path toward greater financial stability. The United States may soon move to less accommodative monetary policies and higher long-term interest rates as its recovery gains ground. Emerging markets face a transition to more volatile external conditions and higher risk premiums. Japan is moving toward the new “Abenomics” policy regime, and the euro area is moving toward a more robust and safer financial sector. Finally, the global banking system is phasing in stronger regulatory standards. Chapter 1 examines the challenges and risks of each of these transitions. Chapter 2 looks at efforts by policymakers to revive weak credit growth, which has been seen by many as a primary reason behind the slow economic recovery. The chapter argues that policies are most effective if they target the constraints that underlie the weakness in credit. But it cautions policymakers to be aware of the fiscal costs and implications for financial stability of credit-supporting policies. Chapter 3 examines how banking funding structures matter for financial stability and the potential impact of various regulatory reforms. It concludes that careful implementation of reform efforts are important to ensure that financial stability benefits are realized.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
"Latin America: An End to Boom and Bust?" covers prospects in that region, which has managed to sustain a decade of prosperity after a history of boom and bust cycles. In our cover story, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, says Latin America has the potential to become an increasingly important global player. But boosting productivity and competitiveness remain key policy challenges and the fruits of success must be more broadly shared. Other articles on our cover theme look at the prospects for Brazil, inequality in Latin America, and how to raise productivity. Turning from Latin America, we interview former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, former IMF MD and now head of a group of luminaries tasked with generating ideas on how to make the global monetary system more stable in the wake of the world financial crisis. This issue of F&D also features articles on financial market cycles, public investment in infrastructure, whether to worry about inflation or deflation, democracy and liberalization, how to manage health care spending, and rising food prices. People in Economics profiles growth guru Robert Solow, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in economics. Our regular Back to Basics feature explains financial services. Data Spotlight looks at how access to financial services is growing in developing countries; and Picture This highlights the IMF's new database of public debt since 1880.
Ms. Eva H. G. Hüpkes, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Marc G Quintyn
Policymakers are often reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector because of the fear that these agencies, with their wide-ranging responsibilities and powers, could become a law unto themselves. This pamphlet describes mechanisms for making regulatory agencies accountable not only to the government but also to the industry they supervise and the public at large, with examples from a range of countries.