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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance report on Bulgaria reviews the formalization and implementation of a comprehensive Supervisory and Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) that includes an explicit and detailed supervisory Pillar 2 capital requirement. The paper highlights that unsound banking practices or regulatory breaches cannot be compensated by complementary capital charges. Loan loss provisions and capital charges for loans created as a result of such practices cannot be created and judged on the basis of the common standards. Banking Supervision Department has developed a methodology for the combined risk assessment and subsequent definition of an additional capital requirement for credit risk. Individual outcomes of the top-down stress tests carried out by the Macroprudential Supervision and Financial Stability Directorate can make a valuable contribution to the SREP. It allows the assessment of the quality of internal control in the institution and its capacity to timely produce complete and reliable data. While capital positions globally are adequate, and soundness indicators have improved, partly as a result of the 2016 Asset Quality Review, nonperforming loans remain high in Bulgaria, with notable differences between the banks.
International Monetary Fund
This report responds to the February 2016 request from the G20 for the IMF, OECD, United Nations and World Bank Group to: “…recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programs, and recommend how countries can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July meeting.” The report has been prepared in the framework of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (the “PCT”), under the responsibility of the Secretariats and Staff of the four mandated organizations. The report reflects a broad consensus among these staff, but should not be regarded as the officially endorsed views of those organizations or of their member countries.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance on the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision on Bulgaria. Within the Banking Supervision Department, the Special Supervision Directorate (SSD) has been assigned multiple activities that go beyond its primary objective of ensuring integrity in the banking sector. The Bulgarian National Bank is not empowered to require a bank to change its internal organization or structure. It is recommended to refocus the activity of the SSD on its core mandate of financial integrity. This recommendation can be achieved by assigning nonsupervisory activities to other Directorates, preferably outside the Banking Supervision Department.
Donato Masciandaro, Mr. Marc G Quintyn, and Mr. Michael W Taylor
We analyze recent trends in, and determinants of, financial supervisory governance. We first calculate levels of supervisory independence and accountability in 55 countries. The econometric analysis of the determinants indicates that the quality of public sector governance plays a decisive role in establishing accountability arrangements, more than independence arrangements. It also shows that decisions regarding levels of independence and accountability are not well-connected. The results also show that the likelihood of establishing adequate governance arrangements are higher when the supervisor is located outside the central bank.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes the reasons behind the relatively low rates of savings in Bulgaria and prospects for their evolution over the medium term. The paper argues that low saving rates largely reflect the current stage of transition—characterized by still low income levels, incomplete structural reforms, the memories of the financial and banking crises of 1996–97, and an adverse demographic structure. An analysis of prospective saving rates indicates that as the transition process advances, saving rates may increase by 5 percentage points over the medium term.
Mr. Gérard Bélanger
The paper analyzes the decline of tax revenue/GDP ratios in transition economies of central and eastern Europe. The paper separates the effect on revenues of discretionary policy actions and finds that endogenous factors, notably the collapse of underlying profits and declining effective tax rates, were the main source of falling tax revenue/GDP ratios. Underlying factors are analyzed to provide a basis to discuss the outlook for tax revenues in coming years.
Mr. George Kopits
Most European economies in transition are engaged in public sector reform aimed mainly at replacing the previous fiscal system subordinated to the central plan with a system where fiscal instruments can make a distinct contribution to stabilization, equity, and efficiency. This paper examines past progress and future tasks in major reform areas: taxation, subsidies, social security, public investment, public enterprises, government debt, and intergovernmental relations. An overview of the fiscal reform process suggests that the contraction and restructuring of government operations are not likely to materialize soon and that there is a serious risk of widening fiscal imbalances during the transition.
Mr. Vito Tanzi
The transition from a command to a market economy requires profound reforms of the tax system. Such a transition will put downward pressures on the level of taxation at a time when public expenditure remains high. This paper outlines the main characteristics of the tax systems in centrally-planned economies. It describes recent changes in those tax systems. Finally, it discusses the major difficulties that will be faced, and the errors that must be avoided, during the transition.