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ECONOMY | 13-10-2021 12:40

IMF board had reservations on surcharges freeze in September

IMF's executive board had reservations in September about offering relief for surcharges, but a final decision was not made.

The International Monetary Fund's executive board had reservations in September about offering relief for fees that countries like Argentina pay on loans, although the bank did not make a final decision, said the bank's managing director, Kristalina Georgieva.

During an informal board meeting last month, "there were reservations about freezing surcharges, mainly driven by genuine concern about the financial strength of the IMF at this time of crisis," Georgieva said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday. But that was not conclusive in any direction. There was also support for the fund to do what we do periodically, which is a review of surcharges ”.

Bloomberg News reported this week that the board had rejected a proposal to discuss temporary relief from so-called surcharges, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. Surcharges are fees charged to countries that use the bank's credit lines extensively.

Argentina, the IMF's largest debtor, has proposed that countries be exempted from paying surcharges amid the financial and economic burden of the pandemic.

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by Eric Martin, Bloomberg

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