Financial Sector Current Affairs - 2019
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The 19th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The meeting was attended by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R. Patel, SEBI chairman, IRDAI Chairman along with heads and other senior officers of Government and financial sector regulators.
Key Highlights of Meeting
- Economic Review: It reviewed health of economy, both domestic and global, financial sector performance and issues due to rising oil prices. It also discussed issue of real interest rate, current liquidity situation, including segmental liquidity position in NBFCs and mutual fund space.
- Cyber Security in Financial Sector: It also reviewed developments regarding strengthening of Cyber Security in Financial Sector and progress made towards setting up of Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) under Statutory Framework. It also deliberated on need for identifying and securing critical information infrastructure in financial sector.
- Crypto Currency: It also deliberated on issues and challenges of Crypto Assets and Currency. It was briefed about deliberations of High-level Committee chaired by Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise appropriate legal framework to ban use o fprivate crypto currencies in India and encouraging use of distributed ledger technology (blockchain), as announced in Budget 2018-19.
- RegTech and SupTech: It also discussed market developments and financial stability implications of use of RegTech and SupTech by financial firms and regulatory and supervisory authorities. It also discussed implementation of recommendations of Sumit Bose Committee on measures, such as promoting appropriate disclosure regime for financial distribution costs.
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
- FSDC is super regulatory body for regulating financial sector which is vital for bringing healthy and efficient financial system in economy of the country. It was set up in 2010 by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
- Mandate: To strengthen and institutionalise mechanism of maintaining financial stability, financial sector development, inter-regulatory coordination along with monitoring macro-prudential regulation of economy and promoting financial sector development.
- Composition: Union Finance Minister is chairman of FSDC. Its members are heads of all financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA), Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board, Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Economic Affair; Secretary, Department of Financial Services and Chief Economic Adviser.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) has released the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) respectively.
It was second comprehensive Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) of Indian financial system undertaken by the joint IMF-World Bank team conforming to the highest international standards.
Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA)
FSAP is joint program of IMF and WB involved in developing countries and region only. It undertakes a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector. It is conducted every five years. Last FSAP for India was conducted in 2011-12 and the report was published by IMF in January 2013.
Highlights of 2017 FSAP
The FSAP assessment acknowledges India’s strong growth in recent years in both economic activity and financial assets. It also acknowledges many efforts undertaken by India like tackling Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), recent recapitalization measures for banks and introduction of special resolution regime, formalization of National Pension System (NPS) and making the pension sector regulator statutory.
It also acknowledged India’s efforts towards passing of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and setting up of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and initiatives such as ‘no frills’ account (under Jan DhanYojana) and introduction of unique biometric identification number (AADHAR).
It also acknowledged RBI’s substantial progress made in strengthening banking supervision by introducing of risk-based supervision in 2013 through comprehensive and forward-looking Supervisory Program for Assessment of Risk and Capital (SPARC) and Asset Quality Review (AQR) and strengthening of regulations in 2015 leading to improved distressed asset recognition.
It also acknowledged RBI’s Basel III framework and other international norms have been implemented or are being phased in. It acknowledges RBI’s move of establishing new Enforcement Department and revising Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework that incorporates more prudent risk-tolerance thresholds. It has recommended that governance and financial operations of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) can be improved by developing strategic plan for their consolidation, divestment, and privatization.