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IMF on UK Talked Cyber Risks, No Answers on Money Laundering or Details on Non Bank Financial Institution Self Insurance

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Video Podcast
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 14 – When the International Monetary Fund held its biweekly embargoed press briefing on November 18, Inner City Press asked about the UK and zones of UK influence, even influence abandoned like Burma and former colony the British Southern Cameroons.

On December 14, just out from embargo, the below from the IMF on UK-based banks. Inner City Press WebEx-ed in to the press conference and asked in writing, "In the wake of the £265  fine against NatWest for money laundering what does the IMF think the UK needs to do to ensure this problem doesn't grow?  &, what should be the government's role in the recommended self-insurance of non-bank financial institutions? Thanks, -Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press." Watch this site.

From the IMF: theFinancial Sector Assessment Program

"notes that the authorities should be  commended for their swift policy actions at the pandemic outset to restore market liquidity and  maintain financial stability. However, the experience also revealed the need to improve the  liquidity risk resilience of the broader non-bank financial sector to avoid disruptions to core  markets. This is a major cross-border challenge, and it will be important for the UK, along with  relevant foreign authorities, international standard setting bodies and the FSB to speedily  augment the data collection, monitoring, and self-insurance in non-bank financial institutions  (NBFIs)... The FSAP found the UK’s financial stability framework to be in a resilient position but  with opportunities for continued enhancements. The financial soundness of UK banks and  insurers has increased since the global financial crisis and the system is well placed to face  near-term macrofinancial challenges. However, the UK financial system is also undergoing  structural transitions, including a growing share of market-based finance, Libor cessation,  making finance green, greater exposure to cyber risk, and rapid adoption of digital  technologies. Many of these are cross-border in nature and it is early to form a firm view on  how these will interact and influence financial stability conditions. The FSAP has suggested  specific approaches to help manage risks. First, continued enhancements to the perimeter of  systemic risk monitoring and analysis. Second, accelerated efforts to address the data and  information gaps (including at the international level) and to track exposures and risk  management practices of complex cross-border financial firms. Third, pushing ahead with the  existing pro-active approach to tackle climate-related and cyber threat related financial risks."

 On November 18 Inner City Press also asked: "On Myanmar, since my question and the answers in previous IMF briefings, have the authorities in Myanmar provided anymore disclosure of where the IMF's million have gone? What steps are being taken by the IMF on this?"

  To this, IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice said that while the IMF has not recognized the new government - that step would require one half of the IMF's members' votes - the IMF wants the world to know that the government in control in Myanmar is, in fact, reporting data.

  Inner City Press followed up, asking if this answers seeming "positive" on the new government meant that it was complying with the reporting commitment of the previous, overthrown government. Rice chaffed at his answer being called positive, saying the IMF just tries to report facts. This will be on IMF video and transcript. For now, 4 minute podcast here.

  Within the constraints of the time between Rice's answer and the 10:30 am lift of the embargo, Inner City Press has found out a bit more. It seems the new government was angry at reports that it was not reporting any data, and was by implication stealing money.

  In fact, it is reporting some data, although even close observers troubled by development but eager to avoid more sanctions on Myanmar acknowledge there is a ways to go on the procurement data, beneficial ownership of payees and the like that is missing in Fund recipients like Cameroon.

 That said, it is pointed out that things were hardly a paradise of disclosure even under the Aung San Suu Kyi government, and that gets lost in much of the reporting.

  Inner City Press is firing up its Google Translate to pour over those reports which have been issued by the government. The reporting issue is hardly likely to move the needle in terms of recognition of the regime. But it is not unlike the range of assessments of the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Apologist or propagandist, there should be an approach that is neither of these. Watch this site.

Back on November 4, Inner City Press asked the IMF about Ethiopia and Tigray, Chad and its Glencore debt, and the IMF's status with Zambia. Spokesperson Gerry Rice responded on each. Podcast here. Short video of Q&As on Twitter here.  IMF video here, transcript forthcoming.

   Answering on Ethiopia, Rice for the IMF said it is "difficult to move forward with program activities" at the moment. Can you say, Tigray? His answer on Chad did not include, as Inner City Press' question had, Glencore. And on Zambia there is not time frame, but talks begin today - virtually.

Back on September 16 Inner City Press asked Rice about crypto-currency legislation in Ukraine and again El Salvador, about the coup in Guinea and the role of the Venezuela talks in Mexico on release of the SDRs. YouTube of IMF video here.  Full transcript here.

Inner City Press asked, " what is the IMF's view of Ukraine's move to regulate crypto-currency? Also, the new legislation proposed in Panama, and the implementation of the El Salvador Bitcoin as legal tender bill?" When called on, Inner City Press added that Ukraine would use nuclear reactors' output for mining.

  Rice cited an upcoming virtual mission to Ukraine later this month, and said that on El Salvador, the talks are under Article 4, not for a program, as least at this point.

Back on January 8 Inner City Press asked the IMF's Helge Berger, Mission Chief, about China's so-called Belt and Road Initiative: "Your Article IV report cites China's "overseas lending projects" amid "rising geopolitical tensions and economic and trade frictions." How does the IMF think that rising debt levels among African countries, and increased skepticism about the "Belt and Road" will impact or be addressed going forward? -Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press. Video here.

(An aside: Inner City Press has reported on the CEFC China Energy Fund Committee's activities in Chad and Uganda and in the UN, on which the UN is UNresponsive.)

Other questions included China's digital currency (Inner City Press also reports on crypto-currency cases in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and elsewhere). Berger said when used overseas an issue is that residents could start using another country's currency, if it is easier.

We'll have more on this.


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