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May 28, 2010

Webpage Provides Country Profile Based on Financial Codes and Standards

Posted by Mario Pessoa 

Finding well-focused analytical information on countries’ finances in one single place has been a permanent challenge. To address this weakness the Financial Standards Foundation (FSF) created the eStandardsForum webpage. On this webpage you can access a well-organized country profile encompassing country-specific standard compliance index on twelve relevant international financial standards and codes (see list below). Each country page provides not only a summary of the assessments but also a standardized assessment index summarizing the results. [1]

Despite the potential shortcomings resulting from the conversion of qualitative assessments to quantitative ones, the FSF’s efforts to extract key information and to summarize it in a reader-friendly and appealing presentation, particularly for the user not well familiarized with public financial and banking jargon, are commendable.

According to the FSF composite index, the countries with better financial systems would be: The Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Australia, UK, France, Norway, Portugal, Estonia, and Germany. Some of these countries are often recognized as leaders in these areas, but others may come as a surprise to our readers. A closer look at the profiles shows that higher ranking countries are the ones that embarked on a wide range of reforms over the last decade.

According to FSF, the eStandardsForum aims to monitor and report a country's economic, financial, and political conditions using only publicly available information. The resulting country’s profiles provide investors, policy makers, donors, and other stakeholders with a perspective on the material factors affecting country risk, such as the degree of a country's conformity with best practice standards.

The FSF’s profile is based on twelve codes and standards divided into three areas:

Macroeconomic Policy and Data Transparency

· Special Data Dissemination Standards

· Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary Policy

· Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Fiscal Policy

Institutional and Market Infrastructure

· Effective Insolvency and Credit Rights Systems

· International Financial Reporting Standards

· Principles of Corporate Governance

· International Standards on Auditing

· Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Terrorist Financing Standards

· Core Principles for Systematically Important Payment Systems

Financial Regulation and Supervision

· Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision

· Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation

· Insurance Core Principles

Information on other global indices (e.g., International Transparency corruption perception index and World Bank’s Doing Business index), credit rating, macroeconomic data, and country briefs, is also available.

For more information you can access the following webpage: http://www.estandardsforum.org/

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[1] FSF’s Standards Compliance Index measures a country's level of compliance with the 12 key standards for sound financial systems, issued by international standard-setting bodies. Compliance with each of the 12 standards is measured on a scale of six compliance categories, then converted into a numerical score. The index ranks countries from the most compliant to the least compliant and provides a score from 0 (no compliance) to 100 (fully compliant).

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

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Comments

I am the Chief Operating Officer for the Financial Standards Foundation. We recently came across your blog post about our organization and appreciated your thorough description of our activities. I thought you would like to know that we have recently added some new features to our site, which allow you to generate new reports and provide more ways of accessing our data. You can find them here: http://www.estandardsforum.org/browse

We would welcome your feedback and comments.

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