Brown promises IMF crackdown on hedge funds

HEDGE FUNDS and offshore financial centres face a new global crackdown, Gordon Brown announced yesterday. An investigation of highly leveraged institutions and the lightly regulated centres they often operate from will be the first task of the new Financial Stability Forum.

"In time it can become a world early-warning system for regional and global financial market risk," the UK Chancellor said. The new forum held its first meeting earlier this year.

Mr Brown added: "Claims of corruption and money laundering raise important issues for the credibility and effectiveness of IMF programmes."

He urged the IMF to review its safeguards and give more assistance to member countries on regulating offshore banking. The IMF has been criticised for the possibility that its massive loans to Russia could be misused, although an independent audit has not yet found evidence for this.

The new investigation will have a dual purpose; controlling a source of potential financial instability in the hot money flowing in and out of offshore centres, and tackling money laundering more effectively.

Speaking in his new IMF role as chairman of its steering committee, the Chancellor said there was no room for complacency even though the world economy and financial markets had stabilised and expectations of a recovery in 2000 had strengthened. He said important reforms agreed in the wake of the crisis in 1997 and last year must now be implemented.

These reforms include new codes of conduct for governments on fiscal and monetary policy and stricter requirements for transparency and economic surveillance.

The IMF now publishes its annual Article IV assessments of member economies which agree to it, and has started a pilot project publishing the full background reports for, initially, 46 countries. The number of countries agreeing to this scrutiny is expected to grow rapidly.

Speaking as the UK representative at the IMF meeting, Mr Brown said November's Pre-Budget Report would focus on the next stage of reforms to the jobs market, and to markets for goods and finance.

He repeated that UK growth could be at the upper end of his forecasts, but said this depended on sticking to the monetary and fiscal policy frameworks and responsible pay bargaining.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory