IMF Brings Policymakers Together to Foster Cooperation on Fintech

October 12, 2017/IMF

Representatives from over 40 advanced and emerging economies and international institutions met in Washington to discuss Fintech, the impact of technological change in the financial sector. Ministers of finance and economics, central bank governors, and other senior officials came together at the invitation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to share experiences and discuss potential policy and regulatory responses.

“There is a lot of excitement about Fintech. How much is real, how much is hype? We cannot be sure, but we know that digital currencies, new models of financial intermediation, and artificial intelligence will change the way we do our job,” IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde said, addressing meeting participants. “Our key message is that it would be wise for central bankers and regulators to prepare for the potential benefits and challenges of Fintech,” she added.

The IMF has an active research program – having already published two research papers, on virtual currencies, and on Fintech and financial services – and is increasingly taking Fintech into account in its capacity development and economic surveillance work. Its global membership makes the IMF the ideal platform to exchange experiences, build consensus around policies, and evaluate the potential international impact of domestic decisions.

Besides the meeting with policymakers, Ms. Lagarde chaired a discussion between major central banks and industry leaders and innovators on the challenges Fintech brings to regulation and central banking. “I believe that—as individuals and communities— we have the capacity to shape a technological and economic future that works for all. For that, policymakers will have to be nimble, experimental, and cooperative.”

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