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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note reviews the institutional arrangement and supervisory practices for the insurance and securities sectors in Malta, focusing on supervisory effectiveness. The legal powers and supervisory objectives of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) are clear and in line with international standards. The MFSA has adequate legal authority to discharge its supervisory responsibilities and to take the necessary preventive and corrective measures to protect the public interest. Clearly established legal gateways for information sharing facilitate supervisory coordination and cooperation between the MFSA and relevant supervisors/authorities, domestically and internationally. For the avoidance of doubt, the MFSA has proposed amending the MFSA Act to explicitly include the promotion of financial stability and financial market integrity as one of its key functions. Stable funding and full autonomy over the recruitment process are needed to support the MFSA’s operational and financial independence. Recognizing the scope for harmonizing and enhancing the current sectoral risk-based supervision frameworks (RBSF), the MFSA is developing an integrated RBSF.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note provides an update on the Australian insurance sector and an analysis of certain key aspects of the regulatory and supervisory regime. The note analyzes the practice in relation to selected Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) in the context of a wider discussion of key issues in regulation and supervision. Despite the negative impact of the low interest rate environment, the life insurance industry retains sufficient loss absorption capacity. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has undertaken a comprehensive reform of prudential regulation while improving the consistency of the framework between life and general insurers. This focused review confirms that prudential regulation and supervision by APRA is reasonably conservative. The risk-based capital framework is reasonably conservative, which facilitates supervisory risk assessments. APRA has high technical capacity to conduct effective supervision. While there are some gaps in the regulatory regime, APRA seeks to address these through its supervisory process. The report recommends that APRA should expand and deepen its scrutiny of group activities, especially those entailing risky investments and material intragroup transactions.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made the IMF mission to assist the Bhutanese authorities in improving estimates of annual GDP, and in developing methods for compiling quarterly GDP estimates. The mission found that the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) is engaged in a range of projects to improve Bhutan’s national accounts statistics. Updated annual GDP statistics signal an improvement in data quality, which should enhance policymakers’ ability to formulate and operationalize evidence-based decisions. Significant improvements to Bhutan’s national accounts statistics can be achieved using a three-step process. The NSB should also keep in mind the need to incorporate methodological and conceptual/definitional revisions during the benchmarking and rebasing process.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper reviews observance of Insurance Core Principles in Indonesia. Insurance regulation and supervision have been remarkably improved since the establishment of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the enactment of the new Insurance Law. However, the assessment has identified a significant number of shortfalls in observance with the Insurance Core Principles. Some deficiencies are owing to the lack of effective group regulation and supervision of insurance groups. Although OJK has implemented regulations related with risk management and group capital, intragroup transactions are not well taken into account. It is recommended that OJK should improve the effectiveness of supervision. Thematic reviews of reserving practices will encourage more conservative reserving.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations made in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Japan in the areas of insurance sector regulation and supervision. The Japanese insurance sector is characterized by a mature market, high concentration, and the predominance of life insurance products with interest guarantees. It is recommended that the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) should take further steps to implement an economic-value-based solvency regime as soon as practicable. A risk assessment methodology needs to be completed as part of the risk-based supervision framework. The risk and impact assessment will enable JFSA to determine the appropriate supervisory intensity for each insurer, and a holistic supervisory plan.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper assesses the stability of the financial system in Japan. Although the financial system has remained stable, the low profitability environment is creating new risks, and pressures are likely to persist. The search for yield among banks has led some to expand their overseas activities, and more generally to a growth in real estate lending and foreign securities investments. Efforts to increase risk-based lending to small-and medium-sized enterprises are welcome, but many banks still need to develop commensurate credit assessment capacities. Stress tests suggest that the banking sector remains broadly sound, although market risks are increasing, and there are some vulnerabilities among regional banks.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper provides an assessment of the insurance sector in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has one of the deepest, most developed insurance markets in the world. Insurance penetration is 50 percent higher than in the European Union or other advanced economies, and the expenditure per capita in insurance amounts to US$5,429 as compared with US$3,815 in the advanced economies. The supervisory approach of both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are forward-looking and risk-based. However, improved data availability and an enhanced risk appetite statement are required. Notwithstanding stronger enforcement on supervisory and enforcement actions, important challenges still need to be addressed by the FCA.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings and recommendations made in Financial System Stability Assessment for Turks and Caicos Islands. Although the financial oversight framework has significantly improved, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) should strive for further progress. Major advances have been made regarding the operational independence of the FSC and staffing. Nonetheless, the outdated Banking Ordinance and Insurance Ordinance need urgent overhaul. The functioning of the FSC should be strengthened by enhancing Board oversight, filling key positions at Board and senior management levels, strengthening communication and consultation with the industry, and improving the supervision and risk assessment capacities of FSC staff.