IMF Standing Borrowing Arrangements

November 16, 2016

Through the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB), the IMF’s main backstop for quota resources, a number of member countries and institutions stand ready to lend additional resources to the IMF. The General Agreements to Borrow (GAB) allows IMF borrowing from a more limited number of countries.

New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB)

The NAB is a set of credit arrangements between the IMF and 38 member countries and Institutions, including a number of emerging market countries. The NAB is used in circumstances in which the IMF needs to supplement its quota resources for lending purposes. The NAB is subject to periodic renewal. In November 2016, the IMF’s Executive Board approved its renewal for another five years starting in November 2017.

Participants and Amounts of Credit Arrangements
(in Millions of SDRs)1
Current Participants Amount
Australia 2,220.45
Austria 1,818.49
Banco Central de Chile 690.97
Banco de Portugal 783.50
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 340.00
Bank of Israel 340.00
Belgium 3,994.33
Brazil 4,440.91
Canada 3,873.71
China 15,860.38
Cyprus 340.00
Danmarks Nationalbank 1,629.76
Deutsche Bundesbank 12,890.02
Finland 1,133.88
France 9,479.16
Hong Kong Monetary Authority 340.00
India 4,440.91
Italy 6,898.52
Japan 33,508.50
Korea 3,344.82
Kuwait 341.29
Luxembourg 493.12
Malaysia 340.00
Mexico 2,537.66
National Bank of Poland 1,285.40
Netherlands 4,594.80
New Zealand 340.00
Norway 1,966.69
Russian Federation 4,440.91
Saudi Arabia 5,652.74
Singapore 648.55
South Africa 340.00
Spain 3,405.14
Sveriges Riksbank 2,255.68
Swiss National Bank 5,540.66
Thailand 340.00
United Kingdom 9,479.16
United States 28,202.47
Total 180,572.58
New Participants
Greece 840.60
Ireland 957.97
Total after adherence by new participants 182,371.15
1/ Credit arrangements are subject to a minimum of SDR 340 million.

Decision to triple the IMF’s lending resources

As part of efforts to overcome the global financial crisis, in April 2009, the Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies (G20) agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF by up to $500 billion, thus tripling total pre-crisis lending resources of about $250 billion.

This broad goal was endorsed by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). The increase was made in two steps: first, through bilateral financing from IMF member countries; second, by incorporating this financing into an expanded and more flexible NAB.

Origins of the NAB

The original NAB was proposed at the 1995 G7 Halifax Summit following the Mexican financial crisis. Growing concern that substantially more resources might be needed to respond to future financial crises prompted participants in the Summit to call on the G10 and other financially strong countries to develop financing arrangements that would double the amount available under the GAB. In January 1997, the IMF’s Executive Board adopted a decision establishing the NAB, which became effective in November 1998.

Expanded NAB

The amended NAB, which became effective on March 11, 2011, increased the maximum amount of resources available to the IMF under the NAB to SDR 370 billion (about $580 billion at the time), from SDR 34 billion. To make the expanded NAB a more effective tool of crisis prevention and management, the loan-by-loan activation under the original NAB was replaced by the establishment of general activation periods of up to six months. The activation periods are subject to a specified maximum level of commitments.

NAB rollback

In the context of the agreement in December 2010 to double the IMF’s quota resources under the 14th General Review of Quotas, members agreed on a corresponding rollback of the NAB, resulting in a shift in the composition of the IMF’s resources from NAB to quotas. Following the payments for quota increases under the 14th Review in February 2016, the NAB has been rolled back from SDR 370 billion (about $508 billion) to SDR 182 billion (about $250 billion).

How the NAB is used

The IMF’s Managing Director must make a proposal to activate the NAB. The proposal becomes effective when accepted by participants representing 85 percent of total credit arrangements and eligible to vote. Approval by the IMF’s Executive Board is also required. The NAB was activated for the first time in December 1998. Since its enlargement in March 2011, the NAB has been activated ten times. The last activation was terminated at the end of the quota payment period for the quota increases under the 14th Review (February 25, 2016).

General Agreements to Borrow (GAB)

The GAB enables the IMF to borrow specified amounts of currencies from 11 advanced countries (or their central banks), under certain circumstances. The GAB may only be activated when a proposal to activate NAB is rejected by NAB participants.

The potential amount of credit available to the IMF under the GAB totals SDR17 billion (about $23 billion), with an additional SDR 1.5 billion available under an associated arrangement with Saudi Arabia. The GAB was established in 1962 and expanded in 1983 to SDR17 billion, from about SDR6 billion. It has been activated ten times, the last time in 1998. The GAB and the associated credit arrangement with Saudi Arabia was renewed, without modifications, for a period of five years from December 26, 2013.

GAB Participants and Credit Amounts

Original GAB
(1962–1983)

Enlarged GAB (1983–2018)

Participant

Amount

(SDR million1)

Amount

(SDR million)

Belgium

143

595

Canada

165

893

Deutsche Bundesbank

1,476

2,380

France

395

1,700

Italy

235

1,105

Japan2

1,161

2,125

Netherlands

244

850

Sveriges Riksbank

79

383

Swiss National Bank

1,020

United Kingdom

565

1,700

United States

1,883

4,250

Total

6,344

17,000

Saudi Arabia (associated credit arrangement)

1,500

1 SDR equivalent as at October 30, 1982.

2 250,000 million yen entered into effect on November 23, 1976.

Note: Total may not equal sum of components due to rounding.