On July 18, 2016, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, gave a speech before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York about the struggles facing the global financial market’s smaller players in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Director Lagarde stated that due to heightened post-financial crisis regulations and anti-money laundering rules, many large global banks were prompted to reevaluate their correspondent banking models with smaller countries, and chose to reduce cross-border banking services offered to those entities considered too risky or unprofitable. In connection with those trends, Director Lagarde expressed concern that the global consequences of large banks withdrawing from vulnerable smaller countries, if left unaddressed, could become systemic and disruptive. She urged regulators to collect data and facilitate discussions with banks on this issue. Finally, Director Lagarde emphasized that “a strong and open international financial system is key to restore momentum in the global economy,” and that global banks must avoid “knee-jerk” reactions to increased regulatory costs.
The text of Director Lagarde’s speech is available at: http://www.imf.org/en/news/articles/2016/07/15/13/45/sp071816-relationsin-banking-making-it-work-for-everyone.