Corinne Deléchat, Lama Kiyasseh, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, and Rui Xu
This study analyzes the drivers of the use of formal vs. informal financial services in emerging and developing countries using the 2017 Global FINDEX data. In particular, we investigate whether individuals’ choice of financial services correlates with macro-financial and macro-structural policies and conditions, in addition to individual and country characteristics. We start our analysis on middle and low-income countries, and then zoom in on sub-Saharan Africa, currently the region that most relies on informal financial services, and which has the largest uptake of mobile banking. We find robust evidence of an association between macroprudential policies and individuals’ choice of financial access after controlling for personal and country-level characteristics. In particular, macroprudential policies aimed at controlling credit supply seem to be associated with greater resort to informal financial services compared with formal, bank-based access. This highlights the importance for central bankers and financial sector regulators to consider the potential spillovers of monetary policy and financial stability measures on financial inclusion.
This paper assesses and disseminates experiences and lessons from low-income countries (LICs) in Sub-Saharan Africa that were selected by the Africa Department in 2015-16 as pilots for enhanced analysis of macro-financial linkages in Article IV staff reports. The paper focuses on the common characteristics across the pilot countries and highlights the tools used in the analysis, the challenges encountered, and the solutions deployed in overcoming them.
Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Ahmat Jidoud, Ms. Monique Newiak, Bozena Radzewicz-Bak, and Ms. Misa Takebe
This paper discusses how sub-Saharan Africa’s financial sector developed in the past few decades, compared with other regions. Sub-Saharan African countries have made substantial progress in financial development over the past decade, but there is still considerable scope for further development, especially compared with other regions. Indeed, until a decade or so ago, the level of financial development in a large number of sub-Saharan African countries had actually regressed relative to the early 1980s. With the exception of the region’s middle-income countries, both financial market depth and institutional development are lower than in other developing regions. The region has led the world in innovative financial services based on mobile telephony, but there remains scope to increase financial inclusion further. The development of mobile telephone-based systems has helped to incorporate a large share of the population into the financial system, especially in East Africa. Pan-African banks have been a driver for homegrown financial development, but they also bring a number of challenges.
Mr. Emre Alper, Mr. R. Armando Morales, and Mr. Fan Yang
This paper analyzes the degree to which volatility in interbank interest rates leads to
volatility in financial instruments with longer maturities (e.g., T-bills) in Kenya since
2012, year in which the monetary policy framework switched to a forward-looking
approach, relative to seven other inflation targeting (IT) countries (Ghana, Hungary,
Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and Uganda). Kenya shows strong volatility
transmission and high persistence similar to other countries in transition to a more
forward-looking monetary policy framework. These results emphasize the importance of a
strong commitment to an interbank rate as an operational target and suggest that the
central bank could reduce uncertainty in short-term yields significantly by smoothing out
the overnight interest rates around the policy rate.
Over the past two decades, many low- and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs) have improved control over fiscal policy, liberalized and deepened financial markets, and stabilized inflation at moderate levels. Monetary policy frameworks that have helped achieve these ends are being challenged by continued financial development and increased exposure to global capital markets. Many policymakers aspire to move beyond the basics of stability to implement monetary policy frameworks that better anchor inflation and promote macroeconomic stability and growth.
Many of these LLMICs are thus considering and implementing improvements to their monetary policy frameworks. The recent successes of some LLMICs and the experiences of emerging and advanced economies, both early in their policy modernization process and following the global financial crisis, are valuable in identifying desirable features of such frameworks.
This paper draws on those lessons to provide guidance on key elements of effective monetary policy frameworks for LLMICs.
Mr. Andrew Berg, Ms. Luisa Charry, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, and Mr. Jan Vlcek
Many central banks in low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are modernising their monetary policy frameworks. Standard statistical procedures have had limited success in identifying the channels of monetary transmission in such countries. Here we take a narrative approach, following Romer and Romer (1989), and center on a significant tightening of monetary policy that took place in 2011 in four members of the East African Community: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. We find clear evidence of the transmission mechanism in most of the countries, and argue that deviations can be explained by differences in the policy regime in place.
The degree of an economy’s monetization, which has an important implication on economic growth, can be affected by the conduct of monetary policy, financial sector reform, and episodes of financial crises. The paper finds that monetization--measured by the ratio of broad money to nominal GDP-- in low- to middle-income countries is significantly correlated with per-capita GDP, real interest rates, and financial sector reform. It suggests that maintaining an upward momentum in monetization can be an important policy objective, particularly for low-income countries, and that monetary and financial sector policies need to be conducive to enhancing monetization.
This paper aims to widen the lens through which surveillance is conducted in LICs, to better account for the interplay between financial deepening and macro-financial stability as called for in the 2011 Triennial Surveillance Review. Reflecting the inherent risk-return tradeoffs associated with financial deepening, the paper seeks to shed light on the policy and institutional impediments in LICs that have a bearing on the effectiveness of macroeconomic policies, macro-financial stability, and growth. The paper focuses attention on the role of enabling policies in facilitating sustainable financial deepening. In framing the discussion, the paper draws on a range of conceptual and analytical tools, empirical analyses, and case studies.
This supplement presents ten case studies, which highlight the roles of targeted policies to facilitate sustainable financial deepening in a variety of country circumstances, reflecting historical experiences that parallel a range of markets in LICs. The case studies were selected to broadly capture efforts by countries to increase reach (e.g., financial inclusion), depth (e.g., financial intermediation), and breadth of financial systems (e.g., capital market, cross-border development). The analysis in the case studies highlights the importance of a balanced approach to financial deepening. A stable macroeconomic environment is vital to instill consumer, institutional, and investor confidence necessary to encourage financial market activity. Targeted public policy initiatives (e.g., collateral, payment systems development) can be helpful in removing impediments and creating infrastructure for improved market operations, while ensuring appropriate oversight and regulation of financial markets, to address potential sources of instability and market failures.