Best-in-Class Administrative Services
The Bank provides administrative and operational services to trust funds and FIFs, building on its established reputation and competencies. To begin with, when the World Bank and IFC are the administrators of a trust fund or FIF, they take on well-defined fiduciary responsibilities. The overarching responsibility is to ensure that the trust funds are used for the purposes specified in the legal agreements with the development partners, and in accordance with applicable Bank policies and procedures. The objectives for a specific trust fund or FIF are agreed with the development partners to the trust fund before it is established, both for newly established funds and renewals. There is a common core of banking and financial services that applies to all trust funds and FIFs, including receiving, holding, investing, disbursing, and reporting on funds.
Beyond these core services, the Bank provides operational services for IBRD/IDA trust funds, including activity identification, followed by preparation and execution for BETF activities, or appraisal and supervision for RETF projects. It also provides program management and administration services for programmatic trust funds, which, as highlighted in this report, are now being streamlined into Umbrella 2.0 Programs to facilitate harmonization and scaling-up development efforts across different stakeholders.
Niche Investment Management Services
The Bank maintains an overall framework for managing the risks arising from the administrative and operational services it provides for trust funds. For its standard suite of trust fund services, the Bank reviews its portfolio as a whole from a risk and operational perspective. It does not do a specific review for approving new proposals for standard trust funds; however, for more complex financial schemes for certain FIFs, the Bank may provide non-standard financial services. These include bond issuance and management and other treasury services, purchase of carbon credits, upstream management of pledges, commitments and promissory notes, fiscal transfers, and customized financial reporting.
Many of these non-standard services require customized business processes and control environments. Before approving any such proposals for new trust funds, the Bank undertakes a structured assessment of the risks that would arise from administering the proposal and the ways in which to mitigate those risks. Based on that assessment, a risk rating is agreed corporately, which is then used to inform the arrangements for administering the fund and track the overall risk profile of trust funds. To address the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) aspirations of FIFs (and in general for all trust funds managed by the WBG), beginning in FY2020, the World Bank Treasury has implemented SRI Guiding Principles to include environmental, social, and governance factors for all trust fund assets as part of the Trust Fund Investment Pool.
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