UK chancellor calls for bigger IMF role

11 April 2008

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be given a greater regulatory role over the global markets - according to UK chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling.

In a speech in Washington today, Mr Darling said that overall market risk should become a bigger concern of the organisation, rather than risks in individual countries.

The reputation of the IMF has been damaged somewhat by the ongoing volatility in the markets - as it had expressed scepticism last year over the amount of damage the collapse of the US sub-prime sector could do.

In fact, the market meltdown triggered the global credit crunch - the effects of which are still being felt.

Nevertheless, the IMF "must focus its surveillance more closely on financial sector issues and on the links between developments in the financial sector and the real economy,'' Mr Darling said.

A total of $232 billion in asset writedowns and credit losses have been declared thus far by banks as a result of the current crisis.

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