Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced Monday the expansion of the Fund’s High Level Advisory Group on Finance and Technology, to strengthen the representation of national authorities and international organizations.
The group is composed of 19 members who are highly-experienced experts and respected leaders in the field of finance and technology, including industry pioneers, officials from national authorities and international organizations, lawyers and academics.
She said the broad impact of technological innovation on financial services has been a focus of the international community and an issue of critical macroeconomic and financial importance, adding that is was imperative for the IMF to step up its analytical work on “fintech” issues, and expand its engagement with a broad range of public and private sector stakeholders.
“Our High Level Advisory Group has made an invaluable contribution to the IMF’s work on fintech. Its expert advice and guidance has deepened IMF staff’s understanding of fintech issues, and the participation of its members in IMF seminars and conferences has highlighted the importance of technological change in the financial sector to the broader public,” Lagarde said.
“By strengthening the presence of national authorities and international organizations, I am confident that it will continue to provide a broad range of perspectives that will greatly enhance the IMF’s work in this important area,” she added.
The IMF is responding to growing interest from its member countries in the opportunities and challenges arising from technological innovation in the financial sector. Member countries are seeking advice from the IMF on a broad range of issues including the benefits and risks of applications based on mobile computing, artificial intelligence, and distributed ledger technologies. Addressing many of these issues will require close international cooperation.
The Fund, as a truly global institution with 189 members, will play its part in fostering this collaboration. For example, in early April the Fund brought together about 90 representatives from central banks, regulators and international institutions for a series of roundtables, providing a global platform for members to exchange experiences, discuss policies, and build a better understanding of the cross-border implications of technological innovation.
The importance of fintech issues for IMF members was evident during the Spring Meetings in April 2018, with strong interest in a series of seminars held in the Fund’s Innovation Lab, covering key issues like benefits and risks of crypto assets; the use of digital identity and “regtech” to fight money laundering and terrorist financing; the emergence of smart contracts; and the implications of a broader set of nonfinancial firms providing financial services.