Members of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) concluded its latest Plenary today in Sydney, wrapping up discussions on risks and vulnerabilities in the international financial system and its review of ongoing work to strengthen resilience.

**Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs)**

At the meeting in Sydney, the FSF received a report of the OFC Review Group set up last year to review the results of work underway by FSF member bodies to ensure that OFCs meet international standards as financial markets evolve — and to address remaining problems in several OFCs, notably in the areas of effective cross-border cooperation, information exchange and adequacy of supervisory resources.

The FSF welcomed the progress made, in particular in IOSCO’s ongoing initiative, and urged its member bodies to continue their efforts. It called upon OFCs to continue to cooperate with IOSCO and the IMF’s ongoing assessment programme in a timely fashion. The FSF also encouraged OFCs to contribute more fully to the IMF Information Framework Initiative.

**Global Risks and Vulnerabillities**

Highlighted at the plenary was the ongoing work to mitigate sources of vulnerability, including the international standard setting processes and regulatory initiatives.

Also discussed in this connection were issues relating to cross border information exchange in financial disruptions and business continuity incidents, with indications that the FSF plans to organize – jointly with UK Authorities – a workshop for national authorities to share experiences in planning for business continuity incidents and financial crises, in particular identifying issues and gaps in cross-border communication.

The plenary welcomed the publication of the Joint Forum’s draft high-level principles for business continuity for financial authorities and financial industry participants. The Joint Forum was established in 1996 under the aegis of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) to deal with issues common to the banking, securities and insurance sectors.

The next meeting of the Financial Stability Forum will be held in Paris in September 2006.