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IMF's Financial Sector Assessment Programme In NZ

31 October 2003
NEWS RELEASE

FSAP in NZ

The Reserve Bank today said officials and consultants from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are now in New Zealand undertaking a previously announced Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP).

The FSAP is a financial systems surveillance programme spanning IMF member countries which was initiated in 1999 by the IMF and the World Bank in the aftermath of the Asian Crisis. For New Zealand the result will be a detailed evaluation of our financial system, to be published mid next year.

Subjects being assessed in New Zealand include banking supervision, securities market regulation, anti-money laundering frameworks, transparency arrangements applicable to monetary policy and financial sector regulation, and the financial system's resilience and capacity to withstand economic and financial shocks.

The Reserve Bank is co-ordinating the FSAP visit. During their stay, the eleven members of the IMF team will attend numerous meetings with policy-makers, regulators, officials and private sector participants in the New Zealand financial system. The bulk of these meetings will be with the Reserve Bank, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Securities Commission, with additional meetings also scheduled with the Takeovers Panel, the Government Actuary, directors and senior management of some banks, the New Zealand Stock Exchange, industry associations and others. FSAP representatives will also visit some parent banks in Australia and the Australia Prudential Regulatory Authority in Sydney. Discussions in New Zealand are expected to be completed on 18 November.

New Zealand is taking part to support the IMF's efforts to promote financial stability internationally. The programme also offers New Zealand the benefits of a thorough assessment by international experts of the New Zealand financial system and potential stress points in it. Although the programme is voluntary, there is an expectation that all 184 IMF member countries will be assessed about once every 5 to 7 years. So far about one third of the IMF's member countries have been or are going through this process.

An article entitled "Financial Sector Assessment Programme" in the March 2003 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Vol 66 No 1, pp 15-20 covers these matters in more detail. This can be viewed at www.rbnz.govt.nz.

ENDS


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