Asia Focus

Asia Focus

This newsletter provides context and insight into current economic and financial sector developments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Subscribe to our mailing list


Burma – Paving the Road to a Modern Banking System

Posted June 24, 2015

This Asia Focus report provides a historical background of Burmese banking crises, analyzes recent and upcoming regulatory reforms, and evaluates hurdles to the development of a modern banking system.

The Rise of Asian Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted March 5, 2015

This Asia Focus provides an overview of sovereign wealth funds, evaluates the structure and activities of major funds in Asia, and compares the transparency of Asian funds relative to international best practices.

Non-Banks and Retail Payments: Innovations in China and the United States

Posted January 8, 2015

This Asia Focus examines the role that non-banks play in retail payment systems, compares the structure of the retail payments industry in United States and China, and discusses potential risks to the financial system.


Priority Sector Lending in Asia

Posted September 15, 2014

This Asia Focus discusses Asia’s experience with priority sector lending, reviews the current state-level priority sector lending policies in several Asian economies, assesses the implications for the respective domestic banking systems, and examines potential alternative mechanisms to encourage lending to priority sectors.

China’s Interest Rate Liberalization Reform

Posted May 12, 2014

This Asia Focus report explains the importance of interest rate liberalization in China, reviews historical progress and current efforts made to date, and discusses the potential impact on the banking sector.


Mobile Payments in Asia

Posted November 18, 2013

This Asia Focus report explores the use of m-payments in Asia and evaluates the challenges it faces regarding wider adoption. Specifically, this report clarifies what an m-payment is, identifies which factors are facilitating and hindering the use of m-payments by consumers in certain economies of Asia, and summarizes key issues this new payment technology presents to government regulators.

Shadow Banking in China: Expanding Scale, Evolving Structure

Posted April 30, 2013

This Asia Focus provides an overview of shadow banking activities in China, their close ties with banks, reasons behind their rapid rise, the range of participants and products, and regulatory issues.


Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering Standards in Asia

Posted November 19, 2012

Global money laundering and terrorist financing activities impose significant costs on the world economy by damaging the effective operations of national economies. This Asia Focus report reviews some of the unique factors that contribute to money laundering in Asia, describes international AML/CFT standards, analyzes the region’s progress towards fuller compliance with FATF recommendations, and outlines challenges that remain.

Challenges in Global Finance: The Role of Asia

Posted September 1, 2012

On June 11-12, 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF) held its fifth Conference on Asian Banking and Finance in San Francisco, entitled “Challenges in Global Finance: The Role of Asia.” Conference participants discussed how the ongoing economic and financial uncertainties in Europe will impact the Asian economies, banking sectors and trade flows; and how Asian banks and financial institutions themselves are addressing these issues.

Banking in the Clouds

Posted July 1, 2012

Banks in Asia are looking into the opportunities, and risks, that cloud computing can bring to their industry as they expand domestically and regionally.

Accounting Regulatory Architecture in Asia

Posted April 1, 2012

Accounting regulatory regimes play a critical role in ensuring the reliability of financial data and the credibility of a company, and ultimately in supporting the stability of an economy. Prompted in part by the U.S. actions taken pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, many Asian economies have established similar regulatory bodies and standards for their domestic accounting industry.