The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) held its 19th (virtual) meeting to discuss financial stability issues affecting the region, including those stemming from recent developments associated with the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Members also exchanged views on some of the challenges in assessing the effectiveness of policy measures to support those parts of the economy most vulnerable to the pandemic and in creating an exit strategy from temporary support. Members reiterated the importance of international cooperation to evaluate and coordinate the policy responses, including considerations for their future unwinding.

The group received an update on the FSB’s work programme, including planned deliverables to the G20 during the Italian G20 Presidency in 2021, also incorporating follow-up on initiatives begun during the Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency in 2020.

Key FSB deliverables for 2021 include a report on lessons learned from financial policy responses to COVID-19; work on strengthening the resilience of non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI); implementing the G20 roadmap to enhance cross-border payments; transitioning away from LIBOR; strengthening cyber and operational resilience, and analysing and addressing climate-related financial risks.

RCG MENA members explored ways to contribute to the FSB’s work, in particular to the G20’s roadmap on enhancing cross-border payments. The roadmap provides a set of actions, with milestones, to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive.

Members discussed, as part of the work on the roadmap, the steps being taken to strengthen regulation, supervision and oversight of global stablecoins arrangements. Members looked forward to continuing their discussions on enhancing cross-border payments at their workshop on instant payments the following day, when they would also benefit from exchanging views and experiences from private sector participants.

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