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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note analyzes the key aspects of the regulatory and supervisory regime of banks, insurance companies and financial conglomerates (FCs) in Belgium. The regulatory framework for Belgian financial institutions has been strengthened substantially since the 2013 Financial Sector Assessment Program. Notably, new national banking and insurance laws have been issued, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive and amendments to Financial Conglomerate Directive have been transposed, Solvency II has been implemented, and the National Bank of Belgium has been designated as the macroprudential authority. This has improved significantly the regulatory framework and broadened its scope to better address the challenges posed by FCs. Financial sector supervision has also been upgraded markedly.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper assesses the stability of the Spanish financial system as a whole. Spain’s banking system has been steadily progressing since the last Financial System Assessment Program. The authorities have made a significant reform effort. Together with the economic recovery, and support by the European Central Bank’s accommodative policies, the banking system has strengthened its solvency and advanced in reducing nonperforming loans. It is critical to keep the reform process moving and to build on the advances made during 2012–16. Completing the restructuring of bank balance sheets is a priority. Enhanced monitoring and supervisory attention to interest rate and liquidity risks are also merited.
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 Nonetheless, the outdated Banking Ordinance and Insurance Ordinance need urgent overhaul.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.
Mr. Ivo Krznar and Mr. James Morsink
The goal of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of the policy measures taken by Canadian authorities to address the housing boom. We find that the the last three rounds of macroprudential policies implemented since 2010 were associated with lower mortgage credit growth and house price growth. The international experience suggests that—in addition to tighter loan-to-value limits and shorter amortization periods—lower caps on the debt-to-income ratio and higher risk weights could be effective if the housing boom were to reignite. Over the medium term, the authorities could consider structural measures to further improve the soundness of housing finance.
Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia and Mr. Lev Ratnovski
We revisit the link between bailouts and bank risk taking. The expectation of government support to failing banks creates moral hazard—increases bank risk taking. However, when a bank’s success depends on both its effort and the overall stability of the banking system, a government’s commitment to shield banks from contagion may increase their incentives to invest prudently and so reduce bank risk taking. This systemic insurance effect will be relatively more important when bailout rents are low and the risk of contagion (upon a bank failure) is high. The optimal policy may then be not to try to avoid bailouts, but to make them “effective”: associated with lower rents.
International Monetary Fund
A technical note on the stress test of Israel’s banking, insurance, and pension sectors is presented. The Israel Financial Sector Assessment Program Update stress testing exercise comprises a comprehensive analysis of solvency and liquidity risks of key banking and insurance institutions. Satellite models cover housing and corporate credit, household nonhousing credit, profit components, profit retention behavior, and haircut models of government and financial institution bonds. Single-factor tests have been conducted to estimate vulnerabilities to market risk and an idiosyncratic credit shock from exposures to the largest borrower groups and the three largest corporate borrowers.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of Standards and Codes in Sweden. The assessment reveals that the laws and regulations on banking activities and their supervision are in place in Sweden. The composition of the Board of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) is not regulated in law or other ordinances. The position of the FI in relation to other public agencies in possible crisis situations is not defined in law. The FI has also made a motion to the government for a large increase in the number of specialists in its employ.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents an update to the Financial System Stability Assessment on Sri Lanka. The paper discusses that despite a challenging macroeconomic environment characterized by a high fiscal deficit, inflationary pressures, and a widening current account, near-term risks to the financial system appear manageable. Financial soundness indicators have improved; nonetheless, stress tests suggest that banks remain relatively less resilient to interest rate and liquidity shocks. Moreover, the system faces challenges over the medium term from continued rapid credit growth, rising interest rates, and rigidities in interbank markets.
International Monetary Fund
The Financial System Stability Assessment found the financial sector to be vibrant, resilient, highly competitive, and well supervised and regulated. Stress tests showed credit institutions and insurers to be highly resilient to a variety of shocks. It also found a high degree of observance of the principles dealing with effective supervision by the three regulatory authorities—the Bank of Spain, National Securities Market Commission, and the Directorate General of Insurance and Pension Funds. The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems Core Principles assessed that all principles are observed by the Real-Time Gross Settlement System.