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Wouter Bossu

Abstract

Legal frameworks shape the context in which economic transactions take place, both within a given economy and between economies. Laws and regulations allow private economic agents to establish and (re)organize themselves, to seek finance, to enter markets by selling products and services, to enforce payment claims when customers are entering into default on obligations, and to exit a market in an orderly way when so desired or required. It is widely accepted that well-designed legal frameworks for market entry, operation, and exit can promote economic growth and, from a cross-border perspective, integration of economies and financial systems.

Wouter Bossu and Arthur Rossi
Wouter Bossu and Arthur Rossi

Fintech presents unique opportunities for central banks. The rapid changes in technology that are transforming the financial system will allow central banks to enhance the execution of various of their core functions, such as currency issuance and payment systems. But some aspects of fintech pose major challenges. Central banks have always been at the cutting edge of financial technology and innovation. In the past, the invention of the banknote, the processing of payments through debits and credits in book-entry accounts, and the successive transitions of interbank payment systems from the telegraph to internet protocols were all transformative innovations. Today, central banks are facing new and unprecedented challenges: distributed ledger technology, new data analytics (artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning), and cloud computing, along with a wider spread of mobile access and increased internet speed and bandwidth. The purpose of this note is to discuss the authors’ preliminary views on how, from a legal perspective, central banks can best deal with the impact of fintech on their governance. These preliminary views are based on a review of central banks’ reaction thus far to the challenges posed by fintech to the legal foundations of their governance.

Wouter Bossu and Arthur Rossi
Wouter Bossu and Dawn Chew
Well-designed banking laws are critical for regulating the market access and operations of banks, as well as their removal from the market in case of failure. While at a financial policy level there is a broad consensus as to the content of banking laws, from a legal perspective their drafting often leaves something to be desired. In spite of what is often argued, the types of weaknesses of banking laws are hardly country-specific; many weaknesses are shared by many banking laws. This working paper discusses those weaknesses and ways to remedy them, by focusing on a selected set of legal policy principles.
Wouter Bossu and Dawn Chew

Well-designed banking laws are critical for regulating the market access and operations of banks, as well as their removal from the market in case of failure. While at a financial policy level there is a broad consensus as to the content of banking laws, from a legal perspective their drafting often leaves something to be desired. In spite of what is often argued, the types of weaknesses of banking laws are hardly country-specific; many weaknesses are shared by many banking laws. This working paper discusses those weaknesses and ways to remedy them, by focusing on a selected set of legal policy principles.

Wouter Bossu and Arthur D. P. Rossi

This paper discusses key legal issues in the design of Board Oversight in central banks. Central banks are complex and sophisticated organizations that are challenging to manage. While most economic literature focuses on decision-making in the context of monetary policy formulation, this paper focuses on the Board oversight of central banks—a central feature of sound governance. This form of oversight is the decision-making responsibility through which an internal body of the central bank—the Oversight Board—ensures that the central bank is well-managed. First, the paper will contextualize the role of Board oversight into the broader legal structure for central bank governance by considering this form of oversight as one of the core decision-making responsibilities of central banks. Secondly, the paper will focus on a number of important legal design issues for Board Oversight, by contrasting the current practices of the IMF membership’s 174 central banks with staff’s advisory practice developed over the past 50 years.

Wouter Bossu and Arthur D. P. Rossi
This paper discusses key legal issues in the design of Board Oversight in central banks. Central banks are complex and sophisticated organizations that are challenging to manage. While most economic literature focuses on decision-making in the context of monetary policy formulation, this paper focuses on the Board oversight of central banks—a central feature of sound governance. This form of oversight is the decision-making responsibility through which an internal body of the central bank—the Oversight Board—ensures that the central bank is well-managed. First, the paper will contextualize the role of Board oversight into the broader legal structure for central bank governance by considering this form of oversight as one of the core decision-making responsibilities of central banks. Secondly, the paper will focus on a number of important legal design issues for Board Oversight, by contrasting the current practices of the IMF membership’s 174 central banks with staff’s advisory practice developed over the past 50 years.