This paper compares experiences with banking crises in seven countries in order to analyze the factors governing the crises and the effectiveness of measures to deal with the problems. The linkages between deregulation of the financial sector, and financial crises are examined. The portfolio shifts during crisis periods are studied. The major lesson from these experiences is that the regulatory and portfolio weaknesses in the financial sector have strong effects on the macroeconomy and can exacerbate the costs of macroeconomic adjustment. Structural measures to correct these weaknesses are important for the effectiveness of adjustment policies.
The Financial System Stability Assessment of Mauritius assesses the standards and codes and the potential risks and vulnerabilities of the financial system. It summarizes the assessments of the standards and codes on the Basel Core Principles for effective banking supervision, systemically important payment systems, the IMF code of good practices on transparency in monetary and financial policies, and the antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. It provides input in formulating the overall assessment of financial stability, and an action plan in areas of nonobservance.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the prospects of growth in São Tomé and Príncipe (STP). This case study seeks explanations for STP’s relative under-performance and draws lessons for the future. It compares past economic developments in the islands and recommends policies that could most effectively foster future growth in STP. Country-specific characteristics as well as weak institutions contributed to STP’s relative underperformance since independence. Initial conditions, particularly regarding human capital and natural resources, contributed to STP’s relative underperformance, especially in the first decade after independence. Experience in the four island-states suggests that fiscal discipline, revenue mobilization, and a more active private sector, particularly in the tourism sector, may be key to tap STP’s growth potential. Fiscal discipline is needed to contain the fiscal deficit and bring the debt to a sustainable level. Continuing to strengthen public financial management, including implementing multiannual fiscal framework as recommended by the IMF technical assistance, would help.
Current trends in financial sector development in sub-Saharan Africa are prompting policymakers to focus on the design of appropriate supervisory structures. Against the backdrop of worldwide efforts to remodel supervisory structures, this paper develops an analytical framework for designing a regulatory strategy that could assist in prioritizing the needs for regulation and supervision over time. Such a strategy should facilitate the design of a supervisory structure suitable for an individual country's current and future needs. The paper emphasizes that in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, any such strategy is constrained by the reality of capacity limitations and should take into account the need to keep the central bank involved in the process. Building on the framework, the paper identifies a number of supervisory structures that could meet sub-Saharan Africa's needs.
There has been a rapid expansion of pan-African banks (PABs) in recent years, with seven major PABs having a presence in at least ten African countries: three of these are headquartered in Morocco, two in Togo, and one each in Nigeria and South Africa. Additional banks, primarily from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, have a regional presence with operations in at least five countries. PABs have a systemic presence in around 36 countries. Overall, the PABs are now much more important in Africa than the long-established European and American banks.