The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

13 April 2008

NO.023

Treasurer Attends the Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund

Today in Washington DC, I represented Australia's constituency at the meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) — the Ministerial policy committee of the IMF, comprising 24 members representing 185 member countries.

I participated in discussions on the global response to the challenges posed by the current financial market turbulence. The IMFC also considered how to strengthen the IMF's role in financial sector surveillance and crisis prevention, as well as IMF governance and policy reforms to help support this role.

In these discussions, I highlighted the need to improve global standards of transparency and disclosure by financial institutions. International cooperation needs to be strengthened to address the complexity and cross-border nature of financial structures, instruments and risks.

The Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) briefed IMFC members on an FSF report recommending measures to enhance financial market and institutional resilience. This report provides a sensible policy prescription to be developed by financial market regulators and standard setters and was well received by the IMFC membership.

IMFC members discussed the IMF's role in the international response to current financial market turbulence, including through strengthened cooperation with the FSF to act as an enhanced early warning system — bringing together information on risks and vulnerabilities to our international financial system and recommending policy responses — and the need for national authorities to act promptly when specific risks are identified.

Members welcomed the significant reform the Fund has undergone over the last two years and discussed the importance of continuing to ensure the legitimacy, relevance and therefore the influence of the institution.

A package of reforms should be adopted by the IMF at the end of this month that better align members' shareholdings with their weight in the global economy. These reforms also contain important measures to increase the voice of low-income members.

WASHINGTON DC, USA
Saturday 12 April 2008 (Washington time) / Sunday 13 April 2008 (Canberra time)