By Emma Ujah, Bali Indonesia

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group have committed to giving the global anti-money laundry efforts a push.

Through the Bali Fintech Agenda, launched at the ongoing Annual Meetings of the two organisations, they commit themselves to the global war against illicit funds, while working towards bringing the 1.7 billion world population without banking services into the net.

wiss police officer take position during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 20, 2016.
A string of jihadist attacks and rising risks to the global economy overshadow the opening of the annual gathering of the world’s rich and powerful in a snow-blanketed Swiss ski resort. Even as heads of state, billionaires and Hollywood megastar Leonardo DiCaprio were arriving, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sounded the alarm on January 19, 2016 about perils in the major emerging market economies and lowered its outlook for global economic growth this year. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI

According to the IMF Managing Director, Mrs. Christine Lagarde who spoke at the launch of the Agenda, “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.”

Also speaking, World Bank President, Dr, 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 at the on-going Annual Meetings.

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 would 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.

Similarly, in response to the Bali Fintech Agenda, the World Bank will focus on using fintech to deepen financial markets, enhance responsible access to financial services, and improve cross-border payments and remittance transfer systems.

The Bank will draw on the International Finance Corporation’s growing experience in this area.

The Agenda contributes to building the foundations of the digital economy that is a key pillar in the World Bank Group’s larger disruptive technologies engagement.

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