Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP)

The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is a joint program of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Launched in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, the program brings together Bank and Fund expertise to help countries reduce the likelihood and severity of financial sector crises. The FSAP provides a comprehensive framework through which assessors and authorities in participating countries can identify financial system vulnerabilities and develop appropriate policy responses.

The program also helps bring financial sector analysis closer to the center of economic policy discussions within a country and with the Fund and the Bank. Participating in the program helps inform domestic policy-makers of the need for sequenced actions in areas requiring urgent attention and offers countries a comprehensive framework in which to take on financial sector reforms. It also provides countries with an opportunity to measure their compliance with financial sector standards and codes and, therefore, to benchmark their regulatory and supervisory systems against internationally-accepted practices.

The program also represents a collaborative international effort. Staff undertaking the assessments are drawn from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as more than 50 official institutions, central banks and supervisory agencies, from around the world. The international bodies responsible for developing relevant financial sector standards also work closely with Fund and Bank staff in implementing this program.

The FSAP follows a three-pronged approach when looking at the country’s financial sector:

  1. The soundness of a financial system versus its vulnerabilities and risks that increase the likelihood or potential severity of financial sector crises.
  2. A country’s developmental needs in terms of infrastructure, institutions and markets.
  3. A country’s compliance with the observance of selected financial sector standards and codes.


The World Bank and International Monetary Fund rely on internationally recognized standards and codes as a way to measure compliance with accepted practices. These assessments, which form an input into the overall assessment of the financial sector, help shed light on potential supervisory and infrastructural vulnerabilities. The program has adopted a peer review process, through which Bank and Fund staff perform assessments in collaboration with experts from many central banks and supervisory agencies around the world.

Policy Transparency

Financial Sector Regulation and Supervision

Market Integrity

Quality Assurance

Initial Reports

Two classifications of reports support the dialogue between the FSAP team and its country counterparts. The first, produced for country authorities, includes the FSAP aide mémoire that forms the basis for the Main FSAP Report, various annexes that comprise Selected Financial Sector Issues and detailed assessments prepared in connection with international financial sector standards and codes. The second includes the reports prepared for the Boards of Fund and Bank. These documents are also drawn from the Main FSAP Report: the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) prepared by Fund staff and the Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) prepared by Bank staff. The ROSCs (Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes are summaries derived from the detailed assessments) are also made available to the Boards of the two institutions.


Updates to Financial Sector Assessments provide an independent review of a country’s policy adjustments following the initial assessment, and help identify new challenges faced by the system. As with initial assessments, updates involve teams of financial sector experts from around the world. They can concentrate on the most relevant issues identified in the initial assessment. Updates include several parts: a stock-taking exercise, an assessment of financial sector developments, an assessment of progress in implementing FSAP recommendations, a financial stability analysis, a factual update of standards and codes included in the initial assessment, and a reassessment of key development and structural issues raised in the initial assessment. Country authorities requesting an update are encouraged to suggest additional topics for the exercise, which may be included depending on resource availability. The update team prepares a confidential aide-mémoire document for the country authorities. Technical notes on selected topics and detailed assessments of compliance with international standards and codes are prepared as appropriate. A Financial Sector Stability Assessment (FSSA) Update is prepared for discussion at the IMF Executive Board. In joint missions, the World Bank prepares a Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) Update for its Executive Board. Publication of FSSAs, FSAs, technical notes, and detailed assessments is voluntary.


The Main FSAP Report and the Selected Financial Sector Issues annexes are prepared as confidential documents as some information needed to carry out the diagnostic aspects of an FSAP mission’s work is sensitive. Therefore, the Main FSAP Report and some of the Selected Financial Sector Issues cannot be made public. However, countries may elect to publish the FSSA, FSA and the ROSCs on the external websites of the Fund and the Bank. After consultation with the Fund and Bank management, a country also may choose to publish the detailed assessment.

  • Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) Reports

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