May 05, 2018

FSB published the meeting updates of its Regional Consultative Groups (RCGs) for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). RCG for Sub-Saharan Africa met in Botswana (hosted by Bank of Botswana) while the RCG for MENA met in Istanbul.

RCG for Sub-Saharan Africa—Members of the RCG discussed macroeconomic and financial market developments and their potential impact on countries in the region, including challenges from rising government debt levels. The RCG received an update on FSB’s 2018 work plan and its activities. They discussed, as part of FSB’s framework to evaluate the post-implementation effects of the G20 regulatory reforms, an ongoing evaluation of how regulatory reforms may have affected the cost and availability of infrastructure financing. The meeting also discussed the implementation of IFRS 9, which came into force in January 2018, addresses the accounting for financial instruments, and covers the regulatory treatment of accounting provisions; also discussed were the transitional arrangements to smooth any potential significant negative impact on regulatory capital. The RCG also discussed developments and regulatory issues in crypto-asset markets, including the potential for future financial stability implications, given the rapid growth of these markets. Members reviewed FSB’s progress report on its action plan to assess and address the decline in the number of correspondent banking relationships and its newly published recommendations to improve remittance firms’ access to banking services.

RCG for MENA—The meeting began with an update on the FSB’s current and planned activities, which are pivoting from policy development to implementation and evaluation of reforms. Members expressed concern at the continuing decline in correspondent banking relationships, which has contributed to the reduction in remittance service providers’ access to the banking system. In this context, members discussed the recent FSB recommendations to improve remittance service providers’ access to banking services. Members then discussed how to address misconduct in the financial sector. The meeting concluded with a discussion of the impact of crypto-assets on the financial landscape, the implications for financial stability, and the role of central banks, given the rapid growth of crypto-asset markets and the growing interest by retail investors.

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Keywords: Middle East and Africa, Banking, Securities, Crypto Assets, Misconduct Risk, IFRS 9, G20, Regulatory Reforms, RCG, FSB