International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This management implementation plan (MIP) proposes actions in response to the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)’s report on growth and adjustment in IMF-supported programs. The full implementation of the MIP package will help ensure that, at a time when many countries face strong headwinds, IMF-supported programs not only deliver necessary adjustment to address balance of payments needs but also pay greater attention to their growth effects. While the policy-related deliverables are already incorporated into current departmental work plans and budgets, the operational implementation of these recommendations may require mobilizing additional resources.
Sonja Davidovic, Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Cormac Sullivan, and Hervé Tourpe
The Bali Fintech Agenda highlights 12 principles for policymakers to consider when formulating their approaches to new financial technology (fintech). The agenda aims to harness the potential of fintech while managing associated risks. This paper looks at how some elements of the Bali Fintech Agenda could be used in Pacific island countries, which face significant financial-structural challenges.
Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Yongzheng Yang, Mr. Si Guo, Ms. Leni Hunter, Mrs. Sarwat Jahan, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Umang Rawat, Johanna Schauer, Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, and Mr. Yiqun Wu
Asia has made significant progress in financial inclusion, but both its across-country and intra-country disparities are among the highest in the world. The gaps between the rich and the poor, rural and urban populations, and men and women remain deep. Income is the main determinant of the level of financial inclusion; but other factors, such as geography, financial sector structure, and policies, also play important roles. While some countries in the Asia-Pacific region are leaders in fintech, on average the region lags behind others in several important areas such as online (internet) purchases, electronic payments, mobile money, and mobile government transfers.
This Departmental Paper aims to take stock of the development and current state of financial inclusion and shed light on policies to advance financial inclusion in the region. The research focuses on the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth, poverty reduction, and inequality, linkages between financial inclusion and macroeconomic policies, as well as structural policies that are important for improving financial inclusion. Given the increasing importance of financial technologies (fintech), the paper also provides a snapshot of the fintech landscape in the Asia-Pacific.
Jihad Alwazir, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Dongyeol Lee, Niamh Sheridan, and Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello
Access to financial services in the small states of the Pacific is being eroded. Weaknesses in Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism compliance in the context of high levels of remittances are contributing to banks’ decisions to withdraw corresponding banking relationships and close bank accounts of money transfer operators. In this paper, we gather evidence on these developments in the small states of the Pacific, discuss the main drivers, and the potentially negative impact on the financial sector and macroeconomy. We then identify the collective efforts needed to address the consequences of withdrawal of corresponding banking relationships and outline policy measures to help the affected countries mitigate the impact.
Ms. Michaela Erbenova, Ms. Yan Liu, Mr. Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Aledjandro Lopez Mejia, Jose Giancarlo Gasha, Mr. Emmanuel Mathias, Mr. Mohamed Norat, and Ms. Yasmin Almeida
This paper focuses on the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) in some jurisdictions post-global financial crisis. It describes existing evidence and consequences of the withdrawal of CBRs and explores drivers of this phenomenon drawing on recent surveys and select country information. While the withdrawal of CBRs has reached a critical level in some affected countries, which can have a systemic impact if unaddressed, macroeconomic consequences have not been identified so far at a global level. The paper presents responses from the international community to address this phenomenon, and explains the role that the IMF has been playing in this global effort, especially with regards to supporting member countries in the context of surveillance and technical assistance, facilitating dialogue among stakeholders, and encouraging data gathering efforts. The paper concludes by suggesting policy responses by public and private sector stakeholders needed to further mitigate potential negative impacts that could undermine financial stability, inclusion, growth and development goals.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the key findings and recommendations of assessment of Banking Supervision and Regulation for Samoa. Little progress has been achieved toward implementing the recommendations of the 2007 Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision assessment. Initiatives by the Central Bank of Samoa to deal with weaknesses identified in supervision and regulation of domestic banks in 2007 were disrupted by a series of natural disasters and the use of limited supervisory resources on other priorities. Progress was achieved, however, in issues related to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism, with Samoa upgraded to a “normal reporting" regime by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering in 2014, from its previous status of "enhanced reporting."
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses key findings of the assessment of Banking Resolution, and Crisis Prevention and Management Frameworks for Samoa. It is recommended that the current regulatory framework to deal with financial institutions (FIs) should be reformed. The Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) has issued “Prudential Statements" containing some prudential rules, ratios, and limits applicable to FIs, but there are no general standards for their enforcement, which is done on a purely discretional case-by-case basis. The powers from the Central Bank Act are not strong enough to enable the CBS to take enforcement actions. A fully amended legal and regulatory banking resolution framework is needed for the CBS to be able to deal effectively with serious banking problems.
This assessment of Financial Sector Supervision and Regulation for Samoa provides an overview of legal and institutional frameworks. Compliance with the Basel Core Principles (BCPs) for the supervision of international and domestic banks has improved considerably. Supervision of domestic banks should be strengthened further through issuance of additional guidance on banks’ risk-taking activities and corporate governance. Consideration should be given to enhancing the operational independence of the Samoa International Finance Authority (SIFA) to supervise international banks.
This Detailed Assessment of Compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Samoa highlights general preconditions for effective banking supervision. The Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) should consider introducing some straightforward specific capital charges for market price risk and foreign exchange risk. The CBS should require banks to have in place mechanisms for regularly valuing collateral and assessing the strength of guarantees. Several recommendations to further improve the regulatory role of the CBS in accordance with current international standards have been noted and future efforts shall focus on incorporating and developing these as appropriate.
Globalization requires enhanced information flows among financial regulators. Standard-setting bodies for financial sector regulation provide extensive guidance, but financial sector assessments have often found that problems in cooperation and information exchange continue to constrain cross-border supervision and financial integrity oversight. In July 2004, the IMF organized a conference on cross-border cooperation for standard setters, financial intelligence units (FIUs), and financial regulatory agencies. This book brings together conference papers in which participants discuss: information exchange for an effective anti–money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, in terms of both standards and practices; the standards for cooperation in the insurance sector; and the experiences of regulators from banking, securities, and unified regulatory agencies with international cooperation. The book also includes papers providing a general overview of international standards and their implementation and, on the basis of survey results, of practices among financial sector regulators and FIUs.