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
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.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
II. Second Phase of the Program: Monitoring and Technical Assistance
III. Monitoring and Transparency
IV. Collaboration and Cooperation
1. Status of Participation in the Information Framework Initiative
I. Summary Status of First Round of Assessments
II. Offshore and International Financial Center Assessments
III. The Information Framework
Acronyms And Abbreviations
Asia-Pacific Group on Anti-Money Laundering
Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
Basel Core Principles
Bank for International Settlements
Coordinated Compilation Exercise CFT combating the financing of terrorism
Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey CY calendar year
designated nonfinancial businesses and professions
Financial Action Task Force
financial intelligence unit
Financial Sector Assessment Program
Financial Stability Forum
FATF-style regional body
Financial System Stability Assessment
International Association of Insurance Supervisors
IAIS Insurance Core Principles
international and offshore financial center IOSCO International Organization of Securities Commissions
Monetary and Financial Systems Department OFC offshore financial center
Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors
Public Information Notice
IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation
Statistics Department TA technical assistance
trust and company service provider TGS Technology and General Services Department