Bundesbank to provide new bilateral credit line to IMF

Given persistent global uncertainty, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seeking to maintain its current lending capacity, which would have begun to diminish gradually beginning in October since the 2012 bilateral borrowing agreements – including the agreement with the Bundesbank – are scheduled to expire. This request by the IMF, which was reaffirmed at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, on 4-5 September 2016, is backed by a broad international consensus. 

The Bundesbank is willing to provide the IMF with a temporary new bilateral credit line of €41.5 billion. The new bilateral borrowing agreement was signed on 8 October by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and Bundesbank Executive Board member Andreas Dombret at the IMF Annual Meetings in Washington.

The new 2016 framework for bilateral borrowing introduces formal voting rights for creditors: any activation now requires approval by creditors representing at least 85% of contributions. The new bilateral agreements will initially expire at end-2019 but can be extended for a period not to exceed a further year up to the end of 2020 subject to creditors’ consent. 

The IMF will be able to access these credit lines only once quota resources and the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) have been largely exhausted. This means that the 2016 bilateral borrowing agreements are the IMF’s "third line of defence".