Arne Hoel, World Bank

CAO Outreach

Shanghai: CAO Participates in Regional Workshop on Accountability Mechanism Framework for Financial Intermediaries

June 4, 2019 – CAO Vice President, Osvaldo L. Gratacós, participated in a regional workshop in Shanghai, China from May 20-21, 2019, hosted by the Asian Development Bank and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. The workshop focused on the development of a workable Accountability Mechanism Framework for Financial Intermediaries (FIs), to support FIs in Asia and the Pacific in institutionalizing their own accountability mechanisms.

The workshop brought together about 250 participants, including 30 state-owned banks and other FIs from China and 20 developing countries in the region; large public sector entities from China; the independent accountability mechanisms of various International Financial Institutions; and a number of international and regional NGOs/CSOs and research institutes.

During the workshop, the CAO Vice President moderated a panel on the ‘Challenges Faced by FIs on Environmental and Social Risks in Investments’. Panelists discussed their experience working with FIs, covering tools to build FI capacity, standards and methods for assessing FI environmental and social risk, the risks faced in different banking contexts, and monitoring and managing risks.

The CAO Vice President highlighted CAO’s own work in the FI space, as environmental and social risks in FI investments are an issue CAO has looked at extensively – both through CAO’s review of a sample of IFC’s FI investments, and through the complaints CAO has received from communities raising concerns with large infrastructure projects financed by FIs, in which IFC has loan and equity investments.

Over the course of the workshop the CAO Vice President also spoke on panels addressing ‘FI safeguard compliance and accountability practice’ and ‘What are the challenges faced by IFIs on safeguard compliance and the accountability in FIs?’ and provided concluding remarks on both days.