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Pelin Berkmen, Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Dmitry Gershenson, Mr. Javier Arze del Granado, Kotaro Ishi, Marie Kim, Emanuel Kopp, and Mrs. Marina V Rousset
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), financial technology has been growing rapidly and is on the agenda of many policy makers. Fintech provides opportunities to deepen financial development, competition, innovation, and inclusion in the region but also creates new and only partially understood risks to consumers and the financial system. This paper documents the evolution of fintech in LAC. In particular, the paper focuses on financial development, fintech landscape for domestic and cross border payments and alternative financing, cybersecurity, financial integrity and stability risks, regulatory responses, and considerations for central bank digital currencies.
Mr. Charles Enoch, Wouter Bossu, Carlos Caceres, and Ms. Diva Singh


With growth slowing across much of the Latin America as a result of the end of the commodity supercycle and economic rebalancing in China, as well as fragmentation of the international banking system, policies to stimulate growth are needed. This book examines the financial landscapes of seven Latin American economies—Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay—and makes a case for them to pursue regional financial integration. Chapters set out the benefits to the region of financial integration, the barriers to cross-border activity in banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and capital markets, as well as recommendations to address these barriers. Finally, the volume makes the case that regional integration now could be a step toward global integration in the short term.

Mr. Sergi Lanau
This paper examines the effects of improvements in infrastrucutre on sectoral growth and firm-level investment, focusing on six Latin American countries. Exploiting the heterogeneity in the quality of infrastructure across countries and the intrinsic variation in the dependence of sectors on infrastructure, I find that better infrastructure raises growth and investment. Improved infrastructure could yield large economic benefits. For example, if the quality of infrastructure in Colombia increased to the sample median (Czech Republic), GDP growth would increase by about 0.1 percentage points.
Ms. Valerie Cerra, Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Carlos Góes, Ms. Izabela Karpowicz, Mr. Troy D Matheson, Issouf Samaké, and Svetlana Vtyurina
Inadequate infrastructure has been widely viewed as a principal barrier to growth and development in Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of infrastructure in the region and highlights key areas in which infrastructure networks can be enhanced. The public and private sectors play complementary roles in improving the infrastructure network. Therefore, it is critical to strengthen public investment management processes as well as the regulatory framework, including to ensure an appropriate mix of financing and funding for projects and to address environmental concerns.
International Monetary Fund
Many Latin American economies have experienced significant reductions in growth recently, as a result of the end of the commodity super-cycle and the rebalancing of China’s growth, and a number of global banks have been leaving the region. AlthoughLatin American countries were generally less affected by the global financial crisis (GFC) than other regions, the region continues also to suffer from the protracted sluggish growth in advanced economies. In addition, there has since 2008 been a withdrawal of global banks from the region, thus potentially worsening access to credit or reducing competition in the financial sector. More broadly, the GFC demonstrated that extreme economic volatility can originate from outside the region, rather than internally, as was the experience of the 1980s and 1990s...
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
This report evaluates the level of implementation of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in Panama. The findings reveal that Panama is vulnerable to money laundering from a number of sources, including drug trafficking and other predicate crimes committed abroad, such as fraud and financial and tax crimes. The AML Law covers most of the core financial sectors but does not fully apply to the insurance sector and does not extend to a number of other financial activities as required under the FATF standard. Competent authorities, including law enforcement and the Financial Intelligence Unit, do not have timely access to information on legal persons and arrangements as required under the FATF standard.
Mahir Binici, Michael M. Hutchison, and Mr. Martin Schindler
How effective are capital account restrictions? We provide new answers based on a novel panel data set of capital controls, disaggregated by asset class and by inflows/outflows, covering 74 countries during 1995-2005. We find the estimated effects of capital controls to vary markedly across the types of capital controls, both by asset categories, by the direction of flows, and across countries' income levels. In particular, both debt and equity controls can substantially reduce outflows, with little effect on capital inflows, but only high-income countries appear able to effectively impose debt (outflow) controls. The results imply that capital controls can affect both the volume and the composition of capital flows.
Mr. Robert Rennhack
The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has weathered the global financial crisis reasonably well so far, although tighter global financial conditions began to take their toll on trade, capital flows and economic growth in late 2008. This resilience reflects the reforms put in place by many countries over the past decade to strengthen financial supervision and adopt sound macroeconomic policies. Building on this progress, the region’s financial sector reform agenda now aims at further improvements, including steps aiming to improve compliance with the Basel Core Principles of Banking Supervision and to broaden and deepen domestic financial markets.