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Statement at the Conclusion of Financial Sector Assessment Program Mission to the Republic of Belarus

April 22, 2016

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF/World Bank staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF and World Bank staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s and WB’s Executive Boards. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's and WB’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

MINSK, April 22, 2016 – A joint International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) mission, led by Sònia Muñoz (IMF) and Aquiles Almansi (WB), visited Minsk during April 5–21, 2016 to conduct an assessment under the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The FSAP assessed financial sector strengths and vulnerabilities, and reviewed the supervisory framework, contingency arrangements, and measures to promote financial sector development. At the conclusion of the mission, Ms. Muñoz and Mr. Almansi issued the following statement:

‘The FSAP team worked with the authorities to study the stability of the financial system and discussed actions to enhance its resilience. The state-dominated financial sector faces domestic structural challenges, dollarization, and external spillovers. A resolution of bad assets, which should go hand-in-hand with corporate restructuring, is important for preserving financial stability.

‘The FSAP team has assessed progress towards the adherence to international standards in the areas of banking, insurance, and financial market infrastructures supervision. There has been significant improvement in establishing an integrated supervisory process in the area of banking supervision and ensuring smooth operations of the payment system. These assessments will serve to inform the transition to independent, comprehensive, and risk-based supervision of the financial sector. The authorities are encouraged to strengthen their supervisory risk assessment and expand the financial safety net.

‘The FSAP team also assessed the evolution of corporate governance in state-owned financial institutions, financial reporting standards and auditing practices, the protection of creditor rights and the legal framework for insolvency resolution, and the development of NBRB’s digital strategy. The authorities are encouraged to keep empowering supervisory boards of state owned banks, to place increased focus on international financial reporting standards in the supervision process, to improve the legal environment for the extra-judicial rehabilitation of enterprises in financial difficulties through friendly agreements with creditors, and to expand the scope of the digital strategy making security risk management an integral part of its implementation.

‘The mission met with Mr. Pavel Kallaur, Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), Mr. Vladimir Amarin, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Belarus, Mr. Vladimir Zinovsky, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, other senior central bank and government officials, as well as financial sector representatives, including banks. The mission would like to thank all authorities and counterparts for their hospitality and frank discussions.’

The global financial crisis showed that the health and functioning of a country’s financial sector has far-reaching implications for its economy as well as for other economies. The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP), established in 1999, is a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector. FSAP assessments are the joint responsibility of the IMF and World Bank in developing economies and emerging markets and of the IMF alone in advanced economies. The FSAP includes two major components: a financial stability assessment, which is the responsibility of the IMF, and a financial development assessment, the responsibility of the World Bank. To date, more than three-quarters of the member countries have undergone assessments. For more information, visit http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/fsap.htm. and www.worldbank.org/fsap.

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