IMF Approves New Central Bank Transparency Code

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the new IMF Central Bank Transparency Code (CBT).

The development of the CBT follows on the Board’s direction in April 2019 to update the 1999 Monetary and Financial Policies Transparency Code, and bring it in line with the recommendations of the 2017 Joint Review of the Standards and Codes Initiative, indicating the need for risk-based assessments to support policy effectiveness and address macroeconomic risks.

Prior to its implementation, the Fund said it would consult widely in order to ensure that the CBT can provide strong, clear, and detailed guidance to central banks regarding their own transparency.

The CBT will be applicable, on a voluntary basis, to all IMF members, including less-developed economies. The modular, risk-based, and proportional set-up is well-suited to taking into account country-specific circumstances.

Also, the Bretton Woods institution noted the increasing role of central banks–in terms of expanded mandates, unconventional policy actions and complex operations–has evolved considerably in response to the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID‑19 pandemic, saying that introduction and implementation of the CBT will further buttress the need for enhanced transparency.

The multilateral institution welcomed the CBT’s acknowledgement of the trade‑offs between transparency and the legitimate need for confidentiality, as well as the role of country‑specific circumstances, including the legal and institutional frameworks, in defining these trade‑offs.

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