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Financial Policy

Financial Stability

With a view to fostering the stability of the financial system, the BCRA exercises its powers of prudential regulation and supervision of institutions, develops an insurance deposit system, and acts as a liquidity provider of last resort.

The BCRA (...) develops an insurance deposit system, and acts as a liquidity provider of last resort.

It also monitors the financial and payment systems to identify potential systemic risks and take actions aimed at their prevention or mitigation. Within this framework, the BCRA provides information about the situation of the financial system through the Financial Stability Report, and discloses individual and aggregated data on the status of each financial institution under “Financial System” in this website.

Development and Efficiency

The BCRA also adopts regulations to further the development of the financial system. For instance, it created the unit of purchasing power (unidad de valor adquisitivo) , in 2016 as a useful instrument for long-term finance, especially mortgage-backed loans.

Additionally, the BCRA seeks to enhance the efficiency of the system, continually reviewing its regulations for institutions to cut costs which, in turn, may result in a higher return for depositors and/or lending at a lower cost.

Some of the measures adopted foster digital transactions, such as the opening of accounts on a remote basis or the electronic deposit of checks. Find more information in About Us/Measures Adopted.

The BCRA also encourages transparency and competition in the financial system. Since April 2016, the BCRA has been posting information regarding the fees charged by leading banks for their main products (see Comparison of Fees in the BCRA & You section) so that any person (whether a customer or not) may compare them. Since 2017, the BCRA Debtors’ Database shares information on borrowers’ credit behavior, which is not limited to negative information. Indeed, it also contains data on individuals and companies with good credit behavior so that they may benefit from a larger credit offer and better lending conditions.

The BCRA fosters transparency and competition in the financial system.

Finally, the BCRA invigorates innovation in the financial industry through different actions, for example, the 2016 Financial Innovation Hackathon and the 2017 Financial Innovation Hackathon.

Financial Inclusion

The BCRA regards financial inclusion as the access to and usage of a broad range of financial services, provided in a sustainable and responsible manner.

The BCRA channels a significant part of its actions towards achieving financial inclusion. The regulations that seek to reduce financial institutions’ costs—particularly, through the digitization of some transactions—contribute to inclusion, because they may help develop sustainable business models that cater for low-income segments.

Besides, the agenda on electronic means of payment pursued by the BCRA is a cornerstone for greater financial inclusion, as the broadening of payment networks is fundamental to boost usage by underbanked people—individuals who do not use their bank accounts or their related means of payment.

The BCRA regards financial inclusion as the access to and usage of a broad range of financial services, provided in a sustainable and responsible manner.

The BCRA also seeks to extend the coverage of the financial system. In June 2016 it simplified the authorization process for the opening of branches, reduced building requirements for areas with lower density population, allowed banks to use mobile branches, and created automated offices.

Finally, the BCRA delivers financial education programs financial education programs and takes financial consumer protection actions in order to encourage the responsible provision and use of financial services.