BCBS announced that OSFI and the Bank of Canada hosted the 21st International Conference of Banking Supervisors (ICBS) virtually on October 19-22, 2020. The overarching theme for the Conference this year was "the future of supervision in a changing world." The discussions covered the digitalization of finance and the evolution of banking models, operational resilience, climate-related financial risks, and remote working arrangements. Participants also exchanged views on the challenges for central banks and bank supervisors in advanced and emerging market economies during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as adapting to the changing operating environment for central banks and supervisors.
The event included several panel discussions and keynote speeches by Pablo Hernández de Cos, the BCBS Chair, and Prithwiraj Choudhury, the Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. The BCBS Chair discussed the lessons learned from the ongoing crisis so far and the "future and changes that we want to see in banking supervision." He emphasized that the Basel III capital and liquidity buffers could be a powerful lever for banks to absorb shocks and maintain lending. Since the start of this crisis, BCBS has publicly reiterated its position that a measured drawdown of buffers to meet these objectives is appropriate and that supervisors will provide sufficient time for banks to restore these buffers. Using these resources to absorb shocks and support households and businesses should take priority at present over discretionary distributions. Professor Prithwiraj Choudhury discussed the implications of the "working from anywhere" geographic flexibility, with the participants discussing what this means for supervision. These changes, whether temporary or permanent, offer some clues about the future landscape.
Approximately 450 senior banking supervisors and central bankers representing close to 100 countries took part in the conference. Delegates discussed a wide range of issues related to the future of banking supervision in a changing world. This successful event marks the first time that the Basel Committee has worked with a host country to offer a completely virtual conference. The conference promotes the discussion of key supervisory issues and fosters the continuing cooperation in the oversight of international banking. With its wide membership of senior supervisors and policymakers, the conference presents a unique opportunity for a broad-based discussion on issues that are timely and relevant to supervisors in both advanced and emerging market economies.
Keywords: International, Americas, Canada, Banking, COVID-19, Basel, Operational Resilience, Climate Change Risk, ICBS, International Conference of Banking Supervisors, OSFI, BCBS
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