IMF Standing Borrowing Arrangements

September 27, 2016

While quota subscriptions of member countries are the IMF's main source of financing, the Fund can supplement its quota resources through borrowing if it believes that they might fall short of members' needs. 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 NAB is a set of credit arrangements between the IMF and 38 member countries 1 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. Once activated, it can provide supplementary resources of up to SDR 182.4 billion (about $255 billion) to the IMF.

The General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) can also be used in limited cases.

NAB Participants and Credit Amounts 1

(SDR million)
Current Participants
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
Greece* 840.60
Hong Kong Monetary Authority 340.00
India 4,440.91
Ireland* 957.97
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 2 182,371.14

1 Credit arrangements are subject to a minimum of SDR 340 million.
2 Total may not equal sum of components due to rounding.
* Have yet to adhere to expanded NAB.

Decision to triple the IMF’s lending resources by expanding the NAB

As part of efforts to overcome the global financial crisis, in April 2009, the Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies (G 20) agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF by up to $500 billion (which would triple the total pre-crisis lending resources of about $250 billion) to support growth in emerging market and developing countries.

This broad goal was endorsed by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) in its April 25, 2009 communiqué. 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. On September 25, 2009 the G-20 announced it had delivered on its promise to contribute over $500 billion to a renewed and expanded NAB.

Where it originated

The original NAB was proposed at the 1995 G-7 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 G-10 and other financially strong countries to develop financing arrangements that would double the amount available to the IMF 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 the SDR 34 billion under the original NAB. 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 Fund’s quota resources under the 14th General Review of Quotas, it was agreed that there should be a corresponding rollback of the NAB, resulting in a shift in the composition of the Fund’s lending resources from NAB to quotas. The necessary technical decisions to implement the agreement on the rollback were taken in December 2011. Following the payments for quota increase under the 14th Review in February 2016, the NAB has been rolled back from SDR 370 billion (about $518 billion) to SDR 182 billion (about $255 billion).

How the NAB is used

The IMF’s Managing Director’s proposal to activate the NAB can become effective only if it is accepted by participants representing 85 percent of total credit arrangements of participants eligible to vote and is then approved by the IMF’s Executive Board.

NAB was activated for the first time in December 1998 to finance a Stand-by Arrangement for Brazil, when the IMF called on funding of SDR 9.1 billion, of which SDR 2.9 billion was used.

Since its enlargement in March 2011, the NAB was activated ten times on April 1, 2011,October 1, 2011,April 1, 2012, October 1, 2012, April 1, 2013, October 1, 2013, April 1, 2014, October 1, 2014, April 1, 2015, and October 1, 2015 respectively. The last activation was terminated at the end of 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 industrial countries (or their central banks), under certain circumstances. Specifically, a proposal for calls under the GAB may only be made when a proposal for the establishment of an activation period under the NAB is not accepted by NAB participants.

The potential amount of credit available to the IMF under the GAB totals SDR 17 billion (about $24 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 SDR 17 billion, from about SDR 6 billion. It has been activated ten times, the last time in 1998. The GAB and the associated credit arrangement with Saudi Arabia have been renewed, without modifications, for a period of five years from December 26, 2013.

GAB Participants and Credit Amounts

Original GAB
Enlarged GAB
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.

1 Neither Ireland nor Greece has adhered.