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Abstract

This book, edited by J.B. Zulu, Ian S. McCarthy, Susana Almuiña, and Gabriel Sensenbrenner, presents the proceedings of the special Joint Meetings on Central Banking Technical Assistance held in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1994, and provides detailed information on important issues in central banking, including a comparative sample of 31 countries. The arrangements concerning such issues as the size and composition of the policymaking board, the role of the central bank in monetary and exchange rate policy, resolution of conflict between the central bank and the government, public accountability, relations with the markets, and credit to the government are reviewed.

Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers, Inci Otker-Robe, and Ceyla Pazarbaşioğlu

For policymakers around the world, finding ways to promote faster growth is a top priority. But what exactly do economists know and not know about growth? What direction should future research and policymaking take? This issue explores this topic, starting with a major World Bank study and research coming out of Harvard University that urges less reliance on simple formulas and the elusive search for best practices, and greater reliance on deeper economic analysis to identify each country's binding constraint(s) on growth. Other articles highlight IMF research on pinpointing effective levers for growth in developing countries and Africa's experience with growth accelerations. Also in the issue are pieces examining global economic imbalances, rapid credit growth in Eastern and Central Europe, and ways to boost productivity growth in Europe and Japan. In Straight Talk, Raghuram Rajan argues that if we want microfinance to become more than a fad, it has to follow the clear and unsentimental path of adding value and making money. Asian Development Bank's Haruhiko Kuroda sets out his vision for a new financial architecture in Asia. Finally, Picture This takes an in-depth look at global employment trends.

International Monetary Fund

Ukraine’s 29-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) was approved. Ukraine’s satisfactory performance under the economic program supported by the Stand-By Arrangement, along with strong policy commitments for the coming year, are supporting a steady recovery in confidence and broadening of economic activity. Further efforts, including gas price increases and structural reforms, are needed to create a more viable and transparent energy sector. Important progress has been made in rehabilitating and restoring confidence in the financial system, including private bank recapitalization and steps toward strengthening the supervisory framework.

International Monetary Fund

Even though the global financial crisis hit Ukraine hard, the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) program managed to restore macroeconomic and financial stability. Executive Directors welcomed the new SBA aimed to consolidate public finances, restore banking system soundness, and develop a more robust monetary policy framework. Directors stressed the need for implementing tax and expenditure policies, pension reforms to catalyze financing, and measures to strengthen the banking system. Directors advised that strict adherence to these policies will help deepen market access, facilitating exit from IMF financial support.

International Monetary Fund
The 2008 transition to the new banking supervisory framework in Poland has been relatively smooth, and the banking system has proven effective in weathering the financial crisis. This assessment focuses on the working of the Polish Financial Supervision Commission (KNF), which is responsible for banking supervision in Poland. KNF has undertaken numerous proactive measures to preserve financial sector stability during the crisis. As a priority, KNF’s interaction with bank auditors as well as with supervisory board members should also be strengthened.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
There have been significant improvements in both the quality of regulation and the supervisory approach since the 2007 FSAP. Many amendments to existing laws, new laws, and regulations have been introduced, aimed at addressing shortfalls identified in the 2007 FSAP. These improvements will be evident throughout this assessment. At the same time, a number of weaknesses have been identified. Among these is an operational risk within the NBG’s own Banking Supervisory Department. There has been a very high level of staff turnover in recent years due to a lack of salary competitiveness vis-à-vis the commercial banks, and there appears to be over-reliance on key personnel. Also, the level and type of staff training need to be expanded. While the NBG puts significant effort into understanding the risk profile of each individual bank and the banking system as a whole, more attention is needed to improve the quality of risk management of the banks. In a number of areas, notably bank licensing, the NBG relies on its broad supervisory powers to carry out its functions in the absence of detailed explicit powers. While this regime generally seems to work well in practice, it could leave the NBG open to challenge where these broad powers are not supported by more granular powers. Recently, several amendments to the legislation have been introduced in order to address these shortcomings.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
In a press release issued on July 28, the IMF announced it has approved a 17-month Stand-By credit for Russia equivalent to SDR 3.3 billion (about $4.5 billion) to support the government’s 1999–2000 economic program. There will be seven equal disbursements of SDR 471.4 million (about $640 million), with the first installment to be released immediately. Subsequent installments will depend on quarterly reviews being completed and performance criteria and structural benchmarks beingmet. At the conclusion of the IMF Executive Board meeting, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer made the following statement.
Mr. Andrew J Tiffin, Mr. Christian B. Mulder, and Mr. Charalambos Christofides
This paper examines the relationship between adherence to international standards of good practice in policy-making and two key indicators of access to capital markets and the cost of this access: spreads and sovereign ratings. In contrast to other work, this study reviews a broad set of indicators for adherence to international standards. The estimations are conducted for emerging market economies, and pay particular attention to issues of persistence in spreads and ratings and nonlinearities in the relationships. The main finding confirms the expectation that standards are indeed relevant. Accounting standards and property rights are especially important for spreads, in addition to data transparency (SDDS subscription). Accounting standards and corruption are especially important in explaining ratings in addition to trade protectiveness (not a standard).
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

Mr. Ashraf Khan and Majid Malaika
Based on technical assistance to central banks by the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department and Information Technology Department, this paper examines fintech and the related area of cybersecurity from the perspective of central bank risk management. The paper draws on findings from the IMF Article IV Database, selected FSAP and country cases, and gives examples of central bank risks related to fintech and cybersecurity. The paper highlights that fintech- and cybersecurity-related risks for central banks should be addressed by operationalizing sound internal risk management by establishing and strengthening an integrated risk management approach throughout the organization, including a dedicated risk management unit, ongoing sensitizing and training of Board members and staff, clear reporting lines, assessing cyber resilience and security posture, and tying risk management into strategic planning.. Given the fast-evolving nature of such risks, central banks could make use of timely and regular inputs from external experts.