Bulletin – December Quarter 2014 Identifying Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions Abstract

A key element of the G20 response to the global financial crisis has been to develop policies to address the ‘too-big-to-fail’ problem posed by systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs). The first step is to identify such entities. To that end, there has been extensive work undertaken in recent years, especially at the global level in view of the cross-country impact of large international financial institutions should they fail or become distressed. This article examines the methodologies developed by standard-setting bodies for identifying global SIFIs among banks, insurers and non-banks, drawing out common elements as well as important differences among them. Policy work addressing the ‘too-big-to-fail’ problem is ongoing. At the recent G20 Summit in Brisbane, leaders built on these reforms by endorsing two further proposals to improve the ability to resolve failing or distressed global systemically important banks.

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