IMF lauds Spain’s financial sector reforms

27 Oct

The International Monetary Fund said Friday that Spain had made “important progress” in reforming its financial sector, meeting all deadlines under its deal for support from the European Union.

“All deadlines established in the Memorandum of Understanding, agreed between the Spanish and European authorities, have been met. It will be important to maintain the momentum as challenging steps lie ahead,” the IMF said.

In a report from its first mission for monitoring banking reforms, a role the IMF took on under the July deal for the EU to help Spain recapitalize its banks, the global lender said Spain had moved ahead in five key areas:

– Madrid’s position in financial markets has improved.

– “Robust” stress tests of the banks have been performed, providing a sound basis for identifying which banks need help.

– The main outlines of an Asset Management Company have been laid out, though Spain has to move forward to get it working by the deadline at the end of November.

– A new law on burden sharing and resolution is a “significant achievement”.

– New consumer protection and securities legislation marks real progress in developing a better regulatory framework.

More needs to be done, the IMF said.

Banks’ capital shortfalls “need to be quickly made up, recently created burden-sharing tools applied, and non-viable banks promptly wound down.”

“New mergers that do not clearly generate value and undue constraints on system-wide credit supply should be avoided.”

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