The FSB began a regular programme of peer reviews in 2010, consisting of thematic reviews and country reviews. FSB peer reviews focus on the implementation and effectiveness of international financial standards developed by standard-setting bodies (SSBs) and of policies agreed within the FSB. In addition to being a condition of FSB membership as described in the FSB Framework for Strengthening Adherence to International Standards, peer reviews are an important institutional mechanism to promote complete and consistent implementation of agreed G20/FSB financial reforms and are a means of fostering a race to the top by FSB member jurisdictions. They provide an opportunity for FSB members to engage in dialogue with their peers and to share lessons and experiences. The FSB's Standing Committee on Standards Implementation (SCSI) oversees the functioning of the peer review programme.
Thematic reviews focus on the implementation and effectiveness across the FSB membership of international financial standards developed by SSBs and policies agreed within the FSB in a particular area important for global financial stability. Thematic reviews may also analyse other areas important for global financial stability where international standards or policies do not yet exist. The objectives of the reviews are to encourage consistent cross-country and cross-sector implementation; to evaluate (where possible) the extent to which standards and policies have had their intended results; and to identify gaps and weaknesses in reviewed areas and to make recommendations for potential follow-up (including via the development of new standards) by FSB members.
Country reviews focus on the implementation and effectiveness of regulatory, supervisory or other financial sector policies in achieving the desired outcomes in a specific FSB member jurisdiction. They examine the steps taken or planned by national authorities to address IMF-World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) recommendations on financial regulation and supervision as well as on institutional and market infrastructure that are deemed most important and relevant to the FSB's core mandate of promoting financial stability. Country reviews can also focus on regulatory, supervisory or other financial sector policy issues not covered in the FSAP that are timely and topical for the jurisdiction itself and for the broader FSB membership. Unlike the FSAP, a country review does not comprehensively analyse a jurisdiction's financial system structure or policies, nor does it provide an assessment of its conjunctural vulnerabilities or its compliance with international financial standards.
Objectives and guidelines for the conduct of FSB peer reviews are included in the Handbook for FSB Peer Reviews. The Handbook includes improvements, agreed by FSB members in early 2012 and 2014, to the functioning of the peer review programme. The revisions are based on the findings and recommendations from a review of experiences since the programme's launch, which was undertaken by an SCSI working group of experts drawn from FSB member institutions.