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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

During the second quarter of 2002 and into August, a sharp erosion of investor confidence, increasing risk aversion, and growing concerns about the strength and durability of the economic recovery and the pace and quality of corporate earnings had repercussions in all the major equity, credit, and foreign exchange markets. Still, the global financial system displayed resilience, according to the IMF’s latest Global Financial Stability Report, which concludes that “the most likely outcome is that financial resilience and stability will be maintained.”

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The current report finds that short-term risks to global financial stability have abated since April 2016, but that medium-term risks continue to build. Financial institutions in advanced economies face a number of cyclical and structural challenges and need to adapt to low growth and low interest rates, as well as to an evolving market and regulatory environment. Weak profitability could erode banks’ buffers over time and undermine their ability to support growth. A cyclical recovery will not resolve the problem of low profitability. More deep-rooted reforms and systemic management are needed, especially for European banks. The solvency of many life insurance companies and pension funds is threatened by a prolonged period of low interest rates. Corporate leverage in emerging market economies remains elevated in some countries, but the current favorable external environment presents an opportunity for overly indebted firms to restructure their balance sheets. The political climate is unsettled in many countries. A lack of income growth and a rise in inequality have opened the door for populist, inward-looking policies. These factors make it even harder to tackle legacy problems and further expose economies and markets to shocks. A potent and more balanced policy mix is needed to deliver a stronger path for growth and financial stability, and avoid slipping into a state of financial and economic stagnation. The report also examines how the rise of nonbank financing has altered the impact of monetary policy and finds that fears of a decline in the effectiveness of monetary policy are unfounded. It appears that the transmission of monetary policy is, if anything, stronger in economies with larger nonbank financial sectors. Finally, the report examines the link between corporate governance, investor protection, and financial stability in emerging market economies. It finds that the improvements over the past two decades have helped bolster the resilience of their financial systems. These benefits strengthen the case for further reform.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses the findings of Detailed Assessment of International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) insurance core principles on Italy. Regulation and supervision of the insurance industry in Italy is the responsibility of the newly established Institution for the Supervision of Insurance (IVASS). IVASS has reached international best practice in several areas of supervision. IVASS actively exercises group supervision and by 2000, IVASS established the first college of supervisors. Intragroup transactions and related party participations limits are strictly monitored and enforced. IVASS handling of the licensing of undertakings is complete and comprehensive and ensures appropriate considerations pursuant to regulations. Enhanced supervision in some areas is required.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper presents an assessment of the level of observance of the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) in China. Overall, the Chinese regulatory system is assessed to have a good level of compliance with the ICPs. The regulatory framework includes, in addition to the solvency standards, extensive requirements on corporate governance, risk management and internal controls as well as on reinsurance, disclosure and conduct of business. All these requirements are applied appropriately to the significant number of large insurance groups, which together account for the bulk of premium income. However, there is scope for further development of crisis preparedness and market conduct work.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note discusses key findings of the assessment of Insurance Core Principles (ICP) for the reinsurance industry for Switzerland. It reveals that the Swiss reinsurance market is dominated by three large players with a strong international presence. The reinsurance industry comprises 20 professional reinsurers and 50 reinsurance captives with gross premiums written totaling SwF 37.4 billion for 2005. Swiss Re, European Re, and Converium have consistently maintained more than 75 percent market share. More than 95 percent of reinsurance premiums came from foreign business.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents a Detailed Assessment of the Isle of Man’s (IOM) observance of the Insurance Core Principles. Regulation has been strengthened since the 2003 Offshore Financial Center assessment. The Insurance and Pension Authority has been putting in place Memorandums of Understanding with home regulators and is exchanging information extensively. After rapid growth in 2005 and 2006, new business volumes and investment performance have been adversely affected by weaker global equity markets. The number of captives established in the IOM has fallen, reflecting competition from jurisdictions within the European Union.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance on Insurance Core Principles on Singapore. The insurance industry in Singapore is growing, in particular the offshore nonlife sector. Gross premium of the sector has grown significantly by more than 80 percent in the last five years. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has made significant progress in improving the insurance regulatory regime and supervisory practice since the initial Financial Sector Assessment Program in 2004.The updated regulatory framework and supervisory practices have a significantly high level of observance of the Insurance Core Principles.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note assesses the reform of Spanish savings banks (SSBs). It provides a brief overview of the SSB institutional framework before the reform, and describes the main factors that led to the financial distress, albeit uneven, of the SSB sector. The note outlines major regulatory and institutional reforms of SSBs. It evaluates the main achievements of the reforms to date, and also considers improvements to the current framework and potential developments in the SSB institutional framework.