BIS announces initiatives to deepen its involvement in Asia

13 February 2006

Press release

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today announced initiatives to deepen its relationship with its Asian shareholders. These were endorsed by Asia Pacific central bank governors attending a meeting of the BIS Asian Consultative Council (ACC) in Shanghai yesterday.

These initiatives will be closely coordinated with the needs and interests of the BIS member central banks in the region and represent the culmination of an intensive consultation process with them.

The most important aspects are:

  • a three-year research programme on monetary and financial issues in Asia, to be undertaken in close cooperation between the BIS and Asia Pacific central banks;
  • an expansion of the work of the Financial Stability Institute in Asia and the Pacific;
  • an extension of banking services in the Asian time zone, with the aim of bringing them closer in scope to those offered in the European time zone.

Mr Zhou Xiaochuan, ACC Chairman and Governor of the People's Bank of China, today said that the governors attending the meeting "welcomed these initiatives to deepen cooperation between the BIS and its partners in the Asia and the Pacific". He also noted that the three-year research programme on financial and monetary topics was warmly received by regional governors.

"The endorsed initiatives," said BIS General Manager Malcolm Knight, "will build on services the BIS currently provides in Asia and the Pacific. They will provide an effective means for enhancing understanding of policy issues that are important to central banks and supervisors in the region, contributing significantly to the BIS's global work on central bank cooperation and financial stability issues." In recent years, the BIS's interaction with Asian central banks has increased significantly, especially after the opening of its Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific in Hong Kong SAR in 1998 and the formation of the Asian Consultative Council in 2001.


Notes to editors

Deepening the BIS relationship with Asia: a summary

Key proposals for additions to BIS services include:

  1. A policy-oriented research programme for Asia

    A three-year research programme will aim to generate significant, policy-relevant results for central banks in Asia. The research will be of an applied nature, emphasising policy issues and addressing core topics: financial system development, integration and stability in Asia; exchange rate policy and the level and management of international reserves; monetary policy in Asia; monetary instruments and financial market development related to monetary policy; and prospects for and trends in monetary and financial integration in Asia.

    Deliverables of the programme will be research and policy discussion papers; an annual research seminar, with publication of the papers and proceedings; preparation of specific issues for discussion in BIS-organised meetings; and regular reports to Asian central banks summarising recent research activities and outlining future work.

  2. Enhancing financial sector supervision activities

    Central banks and financial sector supervisors in Asia, faced with the challenge of implementing Basel II as well as other international supervisory and accounting standards, have requested increased support from the BIS. In response to this demand and in recognition of the systemic importance of the region, the Financial Stability Institute (FSI) and the BIS Asian Office are proposing to step up the assistance provided to supervisors in Asia.

    The FSI will expand the number and range of meetings and seminars for financial sector supervisors in the region. In addition, research focusing on topics of interest to those responsible for financial stability in Asia will be expanded by the Asian Office.

  3. Banking services

    The BIS's Banking Department will continue the development of its services in the Asian time zone, making them as similar as possible to those available in Europe. Knowledge-sharing activities will include arranging training seminars and providing analytical services related to BIS products.

  4. Meetings in Asia

    Additional meetings will include an annual seminar to showcase BIS work on Asia and related research at Asian central banks, a high-level annual meeting in Asia on issues pertaining to financial markets and financial stability, and a meeting on monetary policy for non shareholding central banks in Asia.

Implementation

The BIS Asian Office will be responsible for implementation with input, support and guidance from all major business units of the Bank.

A steering committee, chaired by the General Manager, has been established to coordinate implementation of the initiatives. The BIS Chief Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Robert N McCauley, will coordinate activities and the research programme will be overseen by the Deputy Chief Representative, Eli Remolona.

What is the Asian Consultative Council?

The Asian Consultative Council (ACC) comprises the Governors of the BIS member central banks in the Asia-Pacific region: those of Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The ACC was established in 2001 to provide a vehicle for communication between these central banks and the BIS Board and Management on matters of interest and concern to the Asian central banking community. The ACC is currently chaired by Mr Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China.

The BIS Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific in Hong Kong SAR provides the secretariat for the ACC.

More information on the BIS Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific.