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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note presents the systemic risk analysis conducted for the Republic of Korea in the course of the 2019 Korea FSAP. It comprises a forward-looking solvency analysis for banks, insurers, and pension funds, a liquidity stress test for banks, and an assessment of network and interconnectedness for a wide range of financial sector entities and their ties to the real economy. Various structural characteristics of Korea’s economy and its financial system informed the features and focus for its forward-looking risk analysis. They include Korea’s strong export orientation, limited diversification, and its key role as a node in regional and international supply chains. Korea’s financial system has grown by 40 percentage points of GDP since 2013, enhancing the importance of a deep financial sector analysis as conducted through the FSAP. Mortgage insurance schemes are widely used—which was reflected in the way the risk assessment for banks was conducted. Korea’s life and non-life insurance sector is large, highly concentrated and saturated. Fintech developments keep accelerating, in terms of its Open Banking system and e-money providers. Demographic developments in Korea are among the most adverse world-wide, implying a continuous drag on demand, downward pressure on interest rates, financial firms’ income, and hence their capitalization unless they will be altering their business models.
Peter Windsor, Jeffery Yong, and Michelle Chong-Tai Bell
The paper explores the use of accounting standards for insurer solvency assessment in the context of the implementation of IFRS 17. The paper is based on the results of a survey of 20 insurance supervisors. Overall, IFRS 17 is a welcome development but there will be challenges of implementation. Not many insurance supervisors currently intend to use IFRS 17 as a basis for solvency assessment of insurers. Perceived shortcomings can be overcome by supervisors providing clear specifications where the principles-based standard allows a range of approaches. Accounting standards can provide a ready-made valuation framework for supervisors developing new solvency frameworks.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note presents risk analysis of banking and insurance sector in France. The assessment is based on stress tests, which simulate the health of banks, insurers under severe yet plausible (counterfactual) adverse scenarios. The stress tests reveal that banks and insurers would be resilient against simulated shocks, although some challenges remain. French banks have improved their capitalization and asset quality; however, profitability remains challenged. The report also highlights that profitability is pressured on both the income and expense sides. Banks’ ability to generate higher interest income is constrained by persistently low interest rates, and market businesses including trading activities have contracted in recent years. Growth-at-risk (GaR) analysis shows that the biggest contributing factors to the risk of growth are cost of funding and stock market prices. Financial conditions continue to tighten gradually since mid-2017; though the overall conditions remain accommodative. Risks stemming from loans to households seem to be contained over the short- to medium-term horizon, given relatively strong households’ balance sheets, no evidence of significant misalignment in house prices, social safety nets, and fixed interest rates.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Detailed Assessment of Observance on Insurance Core Principles on Thailand discusses that the government of Thailand has made a concerted effort to develop the insurance sector. The government has implemented a series of insurance development plans toward this end. Some significant regulatory and supervisory challenges remain, however, if Thailand is to continue to meet the pressures of a changing market and to continue to build the trust on which future growth depends. Consideration should be given to vesting more supervisory authority for key supervisory decisions with the Commission rather than with the Minister and Cabinet. Vesting authority with the Commission will help to ensure that the insurance supervisor has adequate powers to meet the objectives of insurance supervision. With respect to winding up and exit from the market, the insurance legislation should be amended to clearly establish a point at which it is no longer permissible for a troubled insurer to continue in business.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Financial System Stability Assessment paper on France provides summary of an assessment of the financial system. Dominated by internationally active financial conglomerates, the French financial system has made important progress since the last financial stability assessment program (FSAP). In order to address a build-up of systemic risks, the authorities have proactively used macroprudential measures and public communication. The government is pursuing a strategy to prepare Paris as a key financial hub, including by promoting crypto-assets, fintech, green finance, and market entry. Banking and insurance business lines, and the corporate sector, carry important financial vulnerabilities that need close attention. The FSAP thus has recommended augmenting policy tools to contain vulnerabilities and continue to act pre-emptively if systemic risks intensify. In order to mitigate intensification of corporate—and potentially household—vulnerabilities, the FSAP proposed: active engagement with the European Central Bank on the possible use of bank-specific measures; considering fiscal measures to incentivize corporates to finance through equity rather than debt; and a sectoral systemic risk buffer.
Mr. Divya Kirti
Rather than taking on more risk, US insurers hit hard by the crisis pulled back from risk taking, relative to insurers not hit as hard by the crisis. Capital requirements alone do not explain this risk reduction: insurers hit hard reduced risk within assets with identical regulatory treatment. State level US insurance regulation makes it unlikely this risk reduction was driven by moral suasion. Other financial institutions also reduce risk after large shocks: the same approach applied to banks yields similar results. My results suggest that, at least in some circumstances, franchise value can dominate, making gambling for resurrection too risky.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the Insurance Core Principles on the United States. The assessment finds a reasonable level of observance of the Insurance Core Principles. There are many areas of strength, including at state level the powerful capacity for financial analysis with peer group review and challenge through the processes of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Lead state regulation is developing and a network of international supervisory colleges has been put in place. Key areas for development include the valuation standard of the state regulators, especially for life insurance, and group capital standards.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Detailed Assessment report, a part of the 2013 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) of Canada, assesses Canada’s regulatory regime and supervisory practices against the international standards. The IMF report suggests that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) should be empowered to take supervisory measures at the level of the holding company. It highlights that while OSFI requires Federally Regulated Insurers (FRI) FRIs to develop internal capital targets, requirements to develop an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment are scheduled to be implemented in 2014.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses Canada’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) impact on the insurance sector of a low interest rate environment. It highlights that actuarial standards on valuation of liabilities require that assumed reinvestment rates take increasing account of current market rates that led to higher liabilities as low rates persisted. The note outlines the effect of Canadian accounting and actuarial standards that further increases in liabilities need to be recognized in the short term. Policy measures have been undertaken by Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) in the banking sector to address broader risks.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses key findings of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes for Canada. Canada has a very high level of compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. In response to the challenges and structure of its market, the Canadian banking supervisor (OSFI) has developed and is a strong proponent of risk-based, proportionate, supervisory practices and applies a “close touch” approach to its supervised entities. The supervisory approach is well structured, forward looking and maintained on as dynamic a basis as possible. Entry to the Canadian market is subject to demanding prudential entry standards.