Front Matter

Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

Offshore Financial Centers The Assessment Program—A Progress Report

Prepared by the Monetary and Financial Systems Department (In consultation with Other Departments)

Approved by Ulrich Baumgartner

February 8, 2006

Executive Summary

This paper provides an update on the actions taken under the offshore financial center (OFC) program since the last update issued in February 2005.

Three jurisdictions were assessed in 2005 and nine assessments have been scheduled. To avoid duplication, assessments are being coordinated with mutual evaluations conducted by FATF and FATF-style regional bodies. Several jurisdictions asked to postpone assessments, so that they may continue to focus on enhancing their supervisory arrangements.

Technical assistance has been provided mostly to small, lower-income jurisdictions in banking and insurance supervision, AML/CFT legislation and supervision, and statistics.

While significant progress has been made on implementing the information framework initiative, the success of the initiative will depend on the number of participating jurisdictions. The data collected so far provide useful comparisons of the significance of different centers and a more complete picture of the geographical distribution of the financial services industry. Of the 46 jurisdictions invited to participate, thus far 16 have submitted data and another 18 are preparing to provide data. A few are making significant changes to their collection systems to improve data availability. Staff are following up with jurisdictions to encourage broader participation and data dissemination by jurisdictions.

The third IMF roundtable for onshore and offshore supervisors and standard setters held in November 2005 highlighted the need for continued attention to cooperation and information sharing, risk-based supervision, and appropriate sequencing of standards implementation as the means to address increasingly complex cross-border issues. Participants agreed that: supervisors and standard setters should consider disseminating good practices on information sharing; providing website guides to jurisdictions’ information sharing arrangements; and assigning priority and resources to information exchange issues.

Contents

  • Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Executive Summary

  • I. Introduction

  • II. Second Phase of the Program: Monitoring and Technical Assistance

  • III. Monitoring and Transparency

  • IV. Collaboration and Cooperation

  • Tables

  • 1. Status of Participation in the Information Framework Initiative

  • Appendices

  • I. Summary Status of First Round of Assessments

  • II. Offshore and International Financial Center Assessments

  • III. The Information Framework

Acronyms And Abbreviations

AML

anti-money laundering

APG

Asia-Pacific Group on Anti-Money Laundering

BCBS

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

BCP

Basel Core Principles

BIS

Bank for International Settlements

CCE

Coordinated Compilation Exercise CFT combating the financing of terrorism

CPIS

Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey CY calendar year

DNFBP

designated nonfinancial businesses and professions

FATF

Financial Action Task Force

FIU

financial intelligence unit

FSAP

Financial Sector Assessment Program

FSF

Financial Stability Forum

FSRB

FATF-style regional body

FSSA

Financial System Stability Assessment

IAIS

International Association of Insurance Supervisors

ICP

IAIS Insurance Core Principles

IOFC

international and offshore financial center IOSCO International Organization of Securities Commissions

LEG

Legal Department

MFD

Monetary and Financial Systems Department OFC offshore financial center

OGBS

Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors

PIN

Public Information Notice

SCP

IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation

STA

Statistics Department TA technical assistance

TCSP

trust and company service provider TGS Technology and General Services Department

Offshore Financial Centers - The Assessment Program - A Progress Report
Author: International Monetary Fund