Measures Adopted | December 2015 - December 2016

The Central Bank of Argentina worked on three major objectives:

  • Monetary Stability: Sustainable and systematic decrease in the inflation rate.
  • Financial Stability: from two perspectives:
  1. Development and deepening of the domestic financial system.
  2. Macroprudential regulation and supervision of the financial system in accordance with the best international standards.

Access to bank services, financial inclusion, and electronic means of payment: reduction in the use of cash, flexibility, and more security in transactions, higher financial education.

The measures taken in the first year of administration may be divided into three large groups:

1. Monetary and Exchange Policy

Benefits for citizens

Freedom, stability, and predictability to manage economy at a personal, household and business level. Stimulus for long-term economic growth and improved income distribution due to a reduced inflation rate.

- Lifting of exchange restrictions

Communication | A5850

- Easing of regulations governing the Free and Single Foreign Exchange Market (MULC)

Our work seeks to cause the MULC to become effective, dynamic and restriction-free for operation purposes.

Communication | A6037, A6038 and A6137

- Larger number of instruments and increased leeway for monetary policy. End of fiscal dominance.

Since 2016, the monetary policy is no longer determined by fiscal needs, which makes the authorities of the BCRA free to embark on reducing inflation—the BCRA’s main mandate. The interest rate became the primary instrument of monetary policy. The benchmark interest rate is set in the middle of the corridor for repos at 7 days in 2017, replacing that of LEBACs at 35 days.

Communications | A5853 and A6095

- Removal of ceilings and floors for lending and deposit rates

- Swap of three of the Non-Transferable Bills for higher-liquidity bonds in the market

- Adjustment of monetary aggregates’ expansion pace (Base, M2, M3)

2. Development and deepening of domestic Financial System

Benefits for citizens

Higher number of equal chances to access financing for projects, protection of domestic saving and financial stability; all these elements lead to economic development.

- New financial instruments to promote saving and long-term credit (UVI/UVA)

UVI/UVA stands for a new unit of account that protects savings in pesos and promotes long-term credit. Regulations were adjusted to include UVIs (account units tied to the Construction Cost Index, “CCI”) and UVAs (units tied to the Consumer Price Index by the National Institute of Statistics and Census, “INDEC”).

Communications | A5945, A5950, A5980, A6069 y A6086

- Measures aimed at returning funds to the economy’s productive system.

Expansion of potential recipients and loans in foreign currency, trying to prevent any foreign currency mismatches. Injection of idle funds into the system for financing the productive activity and increasing lending supply.

Communications | A5873, A5892, A5894, A5908, A5909, A5916, A5945, A5949, A5995, A5996, A5997, A6031 and A6105

- Promotion of competitiveness in the financial intermediation industry

Employees may open salary accounts at any financial institution of their choice, requiring no consent by their employers.

Communications| A5927, A5928, A5982, A5989, A6042 and A6050

- Commitment to financial information transparency for users and consumers

Communications | A5853, A5887, A5928, A5905, A6116 and A6141

- Easing of mechanisms to open bank branches

The process to set up bank branches continued moving towards simplification and a more federal stance whereby financial institutions are called to settle down in regions with less access to financial services. Now, it is possible to open mobile branches and automated offices.

Communications | A5882 and A5983

- Determination of a positive real interest rate aimed at protecting depositors.

- Prudential supervision and regulation in line with international standards

Assessment of Argentina with the highest rate as per Basel III (Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme - RCAP). Adjustment of some regulations on capital to Basel’s standards.

Communications | A5821, A5831, A6004, A5867, A5884, A5917, A5935, A5943, A5946, A5949, A5980, A5995, A5996, A5998, A6004, A6006, A6023, A6024, A6038, A6051, A6052, A6090, A6107, A6108, A6114, A6131, A6132, A6143, A6146 and A6147

-Measures taken to promote systemic competitiveness and efficiency: a | Mobility of clients between financial institutions / b | Reduction of operating costs

Regulations on cash-in-transit companies have been relaxed, ensuring a higher level of competitiveness in the market. Files and any other documentation relative to financial transactions have been digitalized. Branches can be monitored on a remote basis. ATMs located in third parties’ facilities may be replenished by their own personnel with cash collected in such facilities.

Communications | A5883, A5886, A5927, A5928, A5982, A5983, A5989, A6001, A6002, A6005, A6014, A6029, A6042, A6068, A6071, A6081, A6087 and A6142

3. Access to Bank Services, Financial Inclusion, and Means of Payment

Benefits for citizens

Equal access and use of financial services. Flexibility, security, and free-of-charge payments and collections. Reduction in formal requirements and higher level of equality in tax burden distribution.

- Free-of-charge saving accounts, granting of debit cards, money transfers through ATMs or internet banking.

The purpose is to move towards the utmost possible access to financial services.

Communications | A5927, A5928, A5982 and A5989

- Expansion in the services for saving accounts opened for the sake of collecting subsidies or social benefit programmes.

Taxes, services and other items can now be paid electronically or through automatic debit from such accounts.

Communications | A5960

- A Mobile Payments Platform (PPM) was put in place so that financial institutions can offer the service of instant fund transfers and/or the payment for goods and services to third parties’ accounts via PPM.

The goal is to increase the amount of instant electronic transfers, boosting the use of an electronic wallet, mobile POS(security devices to validate transactions—dongles—through mobile phones) and the payment button(which allows making payments through instant transfers on the internet). We cleared the way for financial inclusion and bank transactions by taking advantage of new technologies and the daily, extensive use of mobile phones recorded in Argentina.

Communication | A5982

- Clients have now the chance to choose whether they wish to receive notices via e-mail.

Communication | A5886

- Presentation of AR$500 and AR$200 notes

A new bill series bearing Argentina’s indigenous animals was launched; the rationale behind this design was: prioritizing life; looking forward but not back into the past; abandoning formality and embracing bright and cheerful colours. The images of native flora and fauna of our country are meant to embody the entire Argentine territory, revalidating federalism while reminding us of our responsibility to protect the environment and inhabitants on a comprehensive basis. Finally, we hold that these designs will easily raise people’s awareness, particularly because bills are present in our daily life.

Communication | A6001 and A6087

- Opening of saving accounts by electronic means and easing of requirements

Saving accounts may now be opened by only producing the National Identity Document (DNI) and are free of charge. Customers are no longer required to be present at a bank branch to open such accounts.

Communication | A6050 and A6059

- Creation of an “ALIAS” linked to the Single Banking Code (CBU) to make transfers and payments

This allows replacing the typical 22-digit CBU required to make payments and transfers by a password, which is easier to remember and input, thereby streamlining the daily use of electronic bank transactions.

Communication | A6044 and A6109

- Electronic check deposit

Bank transactions are simplified by taking advantage of new technologies and the daily, extensive use of mobile phones recorded in Argentina.

Communication | A6071

- Creation of the Instant Debit (DEBIN)

This is a new means of payment to charge for goods and/or services through online debit from bank clients’ accounts.

Communication | A6099

- Saving accounts for the underaged

Daily bank transactions are simplified by pursuing financial education of the young and promoting access to bank services through electronic means of payment.

Communication | A6069 and A6103