Description : Policymakers are often reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector because of the fear that these agencies, with their wide-ranging responsibilities and powers, could become a law unto themselves. This pamphlet describes mechanisms for making regulatory agencies accountable not only to the government but also to the industry they supervise and the public at large, with examples from a range of countries.
Description : Policymakers' uneasiness about granting independence to financial sector regulators stems to a large extent from the lack of familiarity with, and elusiveness of, the concept of accountability. This paper gives operational content to accountability and argues that it is possible to do so in a way that encourages and supports agency independence. The paper first elaborates on the role and purposes of accountability. Second, it shows that the unique features of financial sector supervision point to a more complex system of accountability arrangements than, for instance, the conduct of monetary policy. Finally, the paper discusses specific arrangements that can best secure the objectives of accountability and, thus, independence. Our findings have a wider application than financial sector supervision.
Description : Efforts to liberalize world trade are increasingly focusing on strengthening the links between low-income countries’ trade policies and their development strategies. However, although greater trade openness promises faster growth for poor countries, it also presents risks to those with small and undiversified economies. This pamphlet explores research by Fund staff into the nature and magnitude of these risks and proposes targeted policy solutions to ease adjustments and encourage developing countries to choose fuller participation in the world trading system.
Description : We analyze recent trends in, and determinants of, financial supervisory governance. We first calculate levels of supervisory independence and accountability in 55 countries. The econometric analysis of the determinants indicates that the quality of public sector governance plays a decisive role in establishing accountability arrangements, more than independence arrangements. It also shows that decisions regarding levels of independence and accountability are not well-connected. The results also show that the likelihood of establishing adequate governance arrangements are higher when the supervisor is located outside the central bank.
Description : The paper analyzes the quality of financial sector regulation and supervision around the globe. Unlike studies that collect and analyze data on regulation and supervision "on the books," this study also analyzes available information on supervisory implementation, making use of data from IMF-World Bank assessments of compliance with international standards and codes. Incorporating supervisory implementation into the study provides an improved means of assessing countries' regulatory systems. We find that countries' regulatory frameworks score on average one notch below full compliance with the standards (on a 4-notch scale). There are substantial differences in the quality of regulatory and supervisory frameworks across countries, with the income level being a major factor.
Description : The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Description : Despite its importance, the issue of financial sector regulatory and supervisory independence (RSI) has received only marginal attention in literature and practice. However, experience has demonstrated that improper supervisory arrangements have contributed significantly to the deepening of several recent systemic banking crises. In this paper we argue that RSI is important for financial stability for the same reasons that central bank independence is important for monetary stability. The paper lays out four key dimensions of RSI-regulatory, supervisory, institutional and budgetary-and discusses ways to achieve them. We also discuss institutional arrangements needed to make independence work in practice. The key issue in this respect is that agency independence and accountability need to go hand in hand. The paper discusses a number of accountability arrangements.
Description : Compared with the case of central bank independence, independence for financial sector supervisors remains more controversial. This paper analyzes changes in independence and accountability arrangements in a set of 32 countries that overhauled their legal and/or institutional frameworks for supervision in recent years. Despite improvements, there is strong evidence that the endorsement of independence remains half-hearted, which shows itself through either overcompensation on the accountability side, or resort to political control mechanisms. The latter could potentially undermine the agency's credibility. The results indicate that policymakers still need to be persuaded of the long-term benefits of independence for financial sector soundness, and of the potential for a virtuous interaction between independence and accountability, if the arrangements are well-designed.
Description : IMF chief economist Simon Johnson, IEO report, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tom Bernes, Joanne Salop, exchange rate analysis, CGER, Jonathan Ostry, Belize, Malan report, IMF-World Bank cooperation, Bruegel, IMF goverance, Colin Bradford, global imbalances.
Description : This paper examines the impact of ongoing cross-border integration of securities market infrastructure in the European Union. In particular, it analyzes the regulatory framework that has evolved to deal with the risks associated with cross-border clearing and settlement and concludes that, due to institutionalized deficiencies, the current cross-border regulatory framework may not be adequate or effective in addressing and preventing a real cross-border crisis. The paper proposes a two-tier regulatory framework for securities infrastructure in Europe entailing the creation of a centralized "federal" European regulatory framework for regional systems, in addition to the current national regulatory framework for domestic systems.