Abdullah Al-Hassan, Imen Benmohamed, Aidyn Bibolov, Giovanni Ugazio, and Ms. Tian Zhang
The Gulf Cooperation Council region faced a significant economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks in 2020. Policymakers responded to the pandemic with decisive and broad measures to support households and businesses and mitigate the long-term impact on the economy. Financial vulnerabilities have been generally contained, reflecting ongoing policy support and the rebound in economic activity and oil prices, as well as banks entering the COVID-19 crisis with strong capital, liquidity, and profitability. The banking systems remained well-capitalized, but profitability and asset quality were adversely affected. Ongoing COVID-19 policy support could also obscure deterioration in asset quality. Policymakers need to continue to strike a balance between supporting recovery and mitigating risks to financial stability, including ensuring that banks’ buffers are adequate to withstand prolonged pandemic and withdrawal of COVID-related policy support measures. Addressing data gaps would help policymakers to further assess vulnerabilities and mitigate sectoral risks.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the Basel Core Principles (BCP) for Effective Banking Supervision in Romania. The supervisory approach of the National Bank of Romania (NBR) has been changing toward a more risk based approach since the previous BCP assessment, but more needs to be done. Further development of the NBR’s supervisory approach will make supervision more effective and in line with the requirements of the 2012 BCP. The NBR may need to devote more supervisory attention to banks’ risk models and building up further expertise in specialized areas such as information technology and market risk. In the area of corrective actions and sanctions, the NBR should review its framework to ensure it is protected from undue legal challenges.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This paper describes mainly the introduction and performance of the Extended Fund Facility program for Pakistan. Since the start of the program in September 2013, economic growth has gradually recovered, inflation has fallen to low single digits, foreign reserve buffers have been rebuilt, social safety nets have been strengthened, and the fiscal deficit has significantly declined (although public debt remains high). Despite setbacks in privatization earlier in the year due to labor unrest and political opposition, the authorities remain committed to returning ailing public sector enterprises to a sound financial position, including through private participation, and to completing energy sector reform.
This paper evaluates observance of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision in the Russian Federation. The legal framework currently in place provides the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) with necessary powers and responsibilities. The CBR may authorize banks, conduct ongoing supervision, oversee compliance with laws, and undertake corrective action to address safety and soundness. Major new reforms increase many aspects of the CBR’s duties and powers, although implementation has not yet been tested in all cases. The Russian licensing regime for banks appears exhaustive. However, the legal regime for major acquisitions was found to be weak.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an overview of the cross-border expansion of Moroccan banks in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It discusses policies to minimize possible negative spillovers and address the main supervisory challenges. It builds on the analysis and main results of a Pan-African Cross-Border Exercise—a joint initiative by the IMF’s African and Monetary and Capital Markets departments, with the collaboration of the Middle East and Central Asia department. It highlights that that Morocco could play an instrumental role by providing technical assistance to other supervisors in the region, and the SSA region may benefit from the Moroccan experience of good practices in many areas and relatively advanced supervisory capacity.
The Belgian financial system is relatively large, concentrated, and interconnected and has a high level of compliance with the Basel Core Principles (BCPs) for effective banking supervision. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) deploys high-quality supervisory practices and has clear lines of accountability, transparency, and separate funding when acting in its supervisory capacity. The Belgian authorities have established a Resolution Fund (RF) vesting it with powers to take preventative measures and to facilitate resolution procedures.
This paper presents an update to the Financial System Stability Assessment on Morocco. Major reforms have been achieved since the 2002 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) within a policy of actively promoting economic and financial sector opening. The 2002 FSAP recommendations have been largely implemented. Although the financial system is stable and considerably more robust than in the past, the liberalization of capital flows and increased exchange rate flexibility present challenges for the monetary authorities, financial regulators, financial institutions, and markets.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This paper discusses the central banking, monetary, and banking laws for 17 countries in Europe, an area where many of the techniques that are now universally used in regulating or controlling the supply of money and credit were developed. The complete text of the basic central bank law of each country is given, as well as the by-laws of the central bank where they supplement major provisions of the basic law, and subsidiary legislation where pertinent. General banking laws are in most instances presented in summary form.
This paper examines the philosophies which inspired the institution of central banking in Central and Eastern Europe in the interwar years. Influenced by the Financial Section of the League of Nations, the new central banks adopted laws which prohibited or severely restricted the financing of government fiscal debt. They were encouraged to centralize their payments systems and manage exchange rates to keep control of the money supply and achieve monetary stability. Before long they were forced to adopt further provisions in the area of banking supervision to regulate commercial banks. This paper considers the particular cases of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.