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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Mexico has had a robust financial system for many years. Banks have maintained high capital and liquidity buffers. However, the system provides less finance to the real economy than in peers. Mexico has experienced significant real GDP fluctuations since the Peso crisis but no major credit boom-bust cycles, given strong policy frameworks that have been further enhanced since the 2016 FSAP. The economy has strong external trade and financial linkages. These have been an important channel for transmitting global shocks. The financial system has been resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting a mix of resumption in mobility and support from domestic and global policies. Buffers in the financial system have increased further during the pandemic. The key risk confronting Mexico is the first sustained and ongoing tightening of global liquidity conditions since the Global Financial Crisis.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
In response to a request from the Central Bank of the Congo (BCC), the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted a Financial Sector Stability Review (FSSR) mission virtually, during January 5–28, 2022. The FSSR performed a diagnostic of the financial system, reviewed progress in implementing previous IMF technical assistance (TA) recommendations, and developed a draft Technical Assistance Roadmap to help strengthen the BCC’s capacity in the areas covered by the FSSR. The FSSR also for the first-time covered gender inclusion in financial supervision. It identified five macrofinancial vulnerabilities pertaining to: (i) the quality of the banking system’s capital base; (ii) the difficulty in evaluating nonperforming loans following the COVID 19 financial support measures; (iii) risks related to financial dollarization; (iv) the impact on correspondent banking relationships of “de-risking”; and (v) intragroup exposures, as bank subsidiaries in the DRC place surplus funds with parent companies abroad. The BCC’s adoption of COVID-19 exit measures in December 2021, including specific reporting requirements, should provide momentum for additional TA in the near term to help the BCC analyze banks’ asset quality going forward.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Supervision of less significant institutions (LSIs) is largely effective in Ireland. The Central Bank’s supervisory approach to LSIs is intrusive and well-developed supervisory tools are appropriately applied. To enhance the capacity of supervisory tools and approaches, the supervision leverages on its membership in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). Supervision has sufficient rigor, although some gaps in the enforcement framework yet to be covered by the legislative changes planned for 2022.2 The supervisory responses to changing conditions are timely and agile. The expertise of supervisors is expanding with the development of the market, although keeping up its pace can be a challenge. The independence of banking supervision is strong in practice, and benefits from the safeguards of the SSM. Recent efforts to enhance cooperation between prudential and conduct supervision of banks (Central Bank’s “One Bank” approach) has raised the quality of supervision, although scope remains for further enhancements to unleash the full potential of integrated prudential and conduct supervisory functions framed by strong cooperation arrangements and operational processes.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Ireland has considerably strengthened financial sector regulation and supervision since the 2016 FSAP, aided by the ECB/SSM, and is working with European and international regulators to strengthen oversight of the large market-based finance (MBF) sector. This strengthening is evidenced by a successful navigation through the challenges of Brexit and the pandemic. Despite global headwinds, Ireland is exiting the pandemic with strong economic growth and a highly capitalized and liquid banking system. The financial system has grown rapidly and in complexity, especially after Brexit, and Ireland has become a European base for large financial groups. The MBF sector has grown to the second largest in Europe, with global interlinkages.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
South Africa has made significant progress in strengthening its macroprudential policy framework and foundations since the 2014 FSAP. Institutional arrangements were overhauled by the 2017 Financial Sector Regulations Act that, among others, introduced the current ‘Twin Peaks’ structure, provided SARB with a strong financial stability mandate, and sought to foster interagency coordination and collaboration (including via the establishment of the Financial System Council of Regulators. As a result, South Africa has a hybrid macroprudential policy framework that combines a ‘strong’ decision maker in the SARB Governor, but that is importantly supported by an advisory committee structure, fostering effective cooperation and coordination. Systemic risk monitoring has also been enhanced and some macroprudential policy tools phased-in.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The implementation of a twin peaks model represents a significant change to the South African financial supervisory architecture. The Prudential Authority (PA), operating within the administration of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), is responsible for promoting and enhancing the safety and soundness of financial institutions that provide financial products and securities services. A separate authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority2 (FSCA), is responsible for market conduct regulation and supervision. The introduction of the twin peaks architecture was motivated by a need to increase the robustness of the financial sector regulatory and supervisory system, reinforce financial stability, improve protection of customers, and enhance cooperation among the regulators.