The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks.
The agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims at guiding staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation.
IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, said: “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services. Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. “We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not just the few. This Agenda provides a useful framework for countries to assess their policy options and adapt them to their own circumstances and priorities.” World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, said: “The Bali Fintech Agenda provides a framework to support the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in low-income countries, where access to financial services is low. Countries are demanding deeper access to financial markets, and the World Bank Group will focus on delivering fintech solutions that enhance financial services, mitigate risks, and achieve stable, inclusive economic growth.”
Mrs. Lagarde and Dr. Kim presented the agenda in a panel discussion during the Annual Meetings in Bali. They were joined by Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia; Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank; and Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the Financial Stability Board. With their near universal membership, the Fund and the Bank, are well positioned to gather information from all countries and to reflect on their respective needs and objectives at various levels of economic and technological development. They both also offer a forum for sharing the experience of countries that are not members of international standard-setting bodies on issues such as combating money laundering and terrorism financing, market integrity, and consumer protection. The Financial Stability Board and several other international standard-setters have been reviewing the implications of fintech developments and have indicated regulation and supervision priorities.The IMF and World Bank will start developing specific work programs on fintech, as the nature and scope of their members’ needs become clearer, in response to the Bali Fintech Agenda. The IMF’s initial focus will be on the implications for national and global monetary and financial stability; and the evolution of the International Monetary System and global financial safety net.
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