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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and World Bank
This joint IMF-World Bank note provides a set of high-level recommendations that can guide national regulatory and supervisory responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers an overview of measures taken across jurisdictions to date.
Ms. Inci Ötker and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu
Financial sector reforms are being considered to address the risks posed by large and complex financial institutions (LCFIs). The vast majority of global finance is intermediated by a handful of these institutions with growing interconnections within and across borders. Common trends that contributed to the recent global crisis included sharp increases in leverage, significant reliance on short-term wholesale funding, growth of off-balance-sheet activities, maturity mismatches, and increased share of revenues from complex products and trading activities. The key objective of the financial sector reforms is to promote a less leveraged, less risky (or better cushioned), and thus a more resilient financial system that supports strong and sustainable economic growth. The recent proposals of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) on capital standards represent a substantial improvement in the quantity and quality of capital in comparison with the pre-crisis situation. The analysis of this paper suggests that, subject to usual caveats associated with limited data disclosures and availability, phase-in arrangements will allow most banks to move to these higher standards through earnings retention, assuming a modest economic and earnings outlook. It also suggests that should banks generate strong earnings in the coming years, and distribute lower dividends, they could rebuild common equity capital ratios faster than required under the current phase-in periods. The analysis of the paper also suggests that the new capital standards will have a significant impact on investment-banking-type activities, including through tighter requirements for trading book exposures. Investment banking activities will also be affected by a host of other regulatory initiatives, including the new accounting rules and higher standards for securitization, derivatives, and trading businesses, as well as measures to restrain certain activities. Yet, LCFIs with an investment banking focus have flexible business models and can adjust their strategies easily to mitigate the effects of the regulatory reforms, notwithstanding a multitude of regulations affecting their activities. The ultimate effect of the reforms on business models remains to be seen until the regulations take their final shape.
Ms. Marina Moretti, Mr. Aditya Narain, Ms. Laura E. Kodres, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, José Vinãls, and Jonathan Fiechter
Three years after the onset of the global financial crisis, much has been done to reform the global financial system, but there is much left to accomplish. The regulatory reform agenda agreed by G-20 leaders in 2009 has elevated the discussions to the highest policy level and kept international attention focused on establishing a globally consistent set of rules. Comprehensive reform, once agreed and implemented in full, will have far-reaching implications for the global financial system and the performance of the world economy. In designing the reforms, it is imperative that policymakers keep their focus on the overarching objective of creating a financial system that provides a solid foundation for strong and sustainable economic growth. This paper argues that the current reforms are moving in the right direction, but many policy choices lie ahead—nationally and internationally?which are both urgent and challenging. Policies need to address not only the risks posed by individual banks but also, importantly, those posed by nonbanks and the system as a whole. The recent proposals of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) represent a substantial improvement in the quality and quantity of bank capital, but these apply only to a subset of the financial system.
Ms. Laura E. Kodres and Mr. Aditya Narain
This paper explores the private- and public-sector responses to the crisis and some of the probable outcomes. Aside from improved supervision of individual institutions, greater emphasis needs to be put on financial regulations that reflect the systemic nature of financial risks and the role that macroeconomic policies play. Global consistency of regulation and financial sector taxation will be essential to mitigate systemic risks, avoid unintended distortions, and help ensure a level playing field. This note suggests the key aspects of the future contours will likely be: ? Banks are expected to return to their more traditional function as stricter regulation will limit the risks and activities they can undertake. ? The nonbanking sector will likely have a greater competitive advantage—both in supplying credit and providing investors with nonbank services—and will thus grow. ? The perimeter of regulation will need to expand to take into account risks in the nonbank sector. ? Market infrastructure will be reinforced to protect investors and will need to provide simplicity and transparency to make risks clearer and the financial system safer. ? The global financial system is likely to be smaller and less levered than in the recent past, and could well be less innovative and dynamic, at least for a while.
Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Mr. Gianni De Nicolo, Mr. Luc Laeven, and Mr. Fabian Valencia
This paper contributes to the current debate on what role financial stability considerations should play in monetary policy decision and how best to integrate macro-prudential and monetary policy frameworks. The paper broadly supports the view that monetary policy easing induces greater risk-taking by banks but also shows that the relationship between real interest rates and banking risk is more complex. Ultimately, it depends on how much skin in the game banks have. The central message of the paper is broadly complementary to those in the recent MCM board paper “Central Banking Lessons from the Crisis.”
Mr. Olivier J Blanchard, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Mr. Paolo Mauro
The great moderation lulled macroeconomists and policymakers alike in the belief that we knew how to conduct macroeconomic policy. The crisis clearly forces us to question that assessment. In this paper, we review the main elements of the pre-crisis consensus, we identify where we were wrong and what tenets of the pre-crisis framework still hold, and take a tentative first pass at the contours of a new macroeconomic policy framework.
Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, Phil De Imus, and Mr. Krishna Srinivasan
This paper examines the unconventional monetary policy actions undertaken by G-7 central banks and assesses their effectiveness in alleviating financial market pressures and facilitating credit flows to the real economy. Central banks acted nimbly, decisively, and creatively in their response to the deepening of the crisis. They embarked on a number of unconventional policies, some of which had been tried before, while others were new. The scale and scope of unconventional measures have differed substantially across major central banks. Massive asset purchases have boosted the size of the central bank balance sheets the most in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the Bank of England has relied primarily on the purchases of government bonds, while the Fed has acquired a variety of assets, including commercial paper and mortgage-backed securities and providing financing for acquisition of other asset-backed securities. Central bank interventions, along with government actions, have been broadly successful in stabilizing financial conditions over time.
Mr. Ivan S Guerra, R. B. (Robert Barry) Johnston, Karim Youssef, and Mr. Andre O Santos
This paper reviews the impact of policies to address banking sector weaknesses through the first months of 2009. At the time of this assessment, central bank intervention had successfully addressed pressures on bank liquidity, but the underlying financial position of financial institutions, particularly the large complex financial institutions (LCFIs), remained precarious. Although Tier 1 ratios had been boosted through the capital injections, tangible common equity (TCE) remained at a critical level for most institutions. Asset quality was weakening, and credit spreads for LCFIs remained wide. Measures had not stemmed the market-driven deleveraging process, and lending surveys pointed to various levels of credit tightening in the United States, Europe, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The success of government support measures can be assessed by their impact on bank soundness indicators. Government support measures should have a positive effect on bank soundness by improving bank liquidity, profitability, capital adequacy, and asset quality.
Mr. Carlo Cottarelli and José Vinãls
In response to the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, government budgets and central banks have provided substantial support for aggregate demand and for the financial sector. In the process, fiscal balances have deteriorated, government liabilities and central bank balance sheets have been expanded, and risks of future losses for the public sector have increased.
Mr. Robert Rennhack
The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has weathered the global financial crisis reasonably well so far, although tighter global financial conditions began to take their toll on trade, capital flows and economic growth in late 2008. This resilience reflects the reforms put in place by many countries over the past decade to strengthen financial supervision and adopt sound macroeconomic policies. Building on this progress, the region’s financial sector reform agenda now aims at further improvements, including steps aiming to improve compliance with the Basel Core Principles of Banking Supervision and to broaden and deepen domestic financial markets.