Australia and the International Monetary Fund
The purposes of the IMF (set out in Article I of its Articles of Agreement) are to:
- promote international monetary cooperation
- facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of trade, contributing to high levels of employment and real income
- promote exchange rate stability and avoid competitive devaluation
- assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments and in the elimination of foreign exchange restrictions that hamper the growth of world trade
- make resources available to members to reduce the costs of balance of payments adjustments.
Australia’s representation at the International Monetary Fund
Australia interacts with the IMF through:
- the IMF Board of Governors
- the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)
- the IMF Executive Board
- the IMF’s Article IV consultation on Australia’s economic developments and policy.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is the highest authority within the IMF. It consists of one governor and one alternate governor for each of the 189 member countries. Australia is represented on the Board of Governors by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Secretary to the Treasury is Australia’s Alternate Governor. Governors’ votes on IMF resolutions during 2019-20 are noted in the table below.
Australian Governor’s votes on IMF 2019-20 resolutions
Australian Governor’s vote
2022-23 Annual meetings dates and venue
27 July 2019
Amendment to IMF By-laws Governing Age Limits
3 September 2019
Remuneration of Executive Directors and their Alternates
4 September 2019
Review of remuneration of Executive Directors and their Alternates
4 September 2019
Fifteenth and sixteenth General Review of Quotas
7 February 2020
Amendment to the statute of the administrative tribunal
23 June 2020
International Monetary and Financial Committee
The IMFC advises the Board of Governors on the functioning and performance of the international monetary and financial system, but does not have a decision-making role.
IMF Executive Board, Executive Director and constituency office
The IMF Executive Board conducts the day-to-day business of the IMF and determines matters of policy under the overall authority of the Board of Governors.
Australia belongs to a constituency which, in 2019-20, also included Kiribati, the Republic of Korea, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, the Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
As at 30 June 2020, Australia held around 1.38 per cent of the total voting power at the IMF. The constituency as a whole held around 3.78 per cent.
By agreement between constituency members, the staffing of Australia’s constituency office rotates among constituency members. As at 30 June 2020, the constituency’s Executive Director position was held by Mr Nigel Ray of Australia.
Australia’s Article IV consultation
In accordance with Article IV of its Articles of Agreement, the IMF conducts regular consultations with the authorities of member countries on economic policies and conditions. The IMF’s 2019 Article IV consultation with Australia took place between 3 and 13 December 2019 and included consultation with stakeholders from across government, the private sector, and think tanks. The 2019 Article IV Report on Australia was released on 5 March 2020.
Australia’s quota in the International Monetary Fund and financial transactions
Australia’s quota in the International Monetary Fund
A member’s ‘quota’ is its allocated shareholding in the IMF, which broadly reflects its weight in the global economy. Australia’s quota at 30 June 2020 was 6,572.4 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (equivalent to approximately A$13,213.5 million at 30 June 2020). Part of Australia’s quota is held in reserve by the IMF in SDRs and gold. Part is held in Australia by the RBA in a combination of non‑interest bearing promissory notes and cash amounts in Australian dollars.
Australia’s financial transactions with the International Monetary Fund
Australia conducts a range of financial transactions to manage its obligations with the IMF. Transactions in 2019-20 were all completed in a timely and efficient manner. They are described in the following sections, on a cash basis.
Special Drawing Right charges, interest and assessment fee
The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of member countries. Its value is based on a basket of five international currencies (the US dollar, the Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, the Chinese renminbi and the euro).
Australia’s cumulative allocation of SDRs at 30 June 2020 was around SDR 3.08 billion while our actual SDR holdings were around SDR 3.16 billion. Australia’s SDR allocation is held by the RBA, having been sold to the RBA by the Commonwealth in exchange for Australian dollars. The IMF levies charges on the SDRs that have been allocated to each member and pays interest on the SDRs that are held by each member. In 2019-20, the Australian Government paid charges of SDR 23,647,828 (approx. A$48.09 million) on net cumulative allocations. During this period the RBA received SDR 24,040,784 (approx. A$48.89 million) in interest from the IMF on Australia’s SDR holdings.
In addition, the IMF levies an annual assessment fee to cover the cost of operating the SDR department at the IMF. This is determined according to participants’ net cumulative SDR allocations. Australia’s annual assessment fee for the IMF financial year ending 30 April 2020 was SDR 40,971 (approx. A$86,638).
Remuneration is interest earned on quota resources held by the IMF, excluding gold. In 2019-20, Australia received SDR 5,937,499 (approx. A$12.08 million) in remuneration.
Maintenance of value
The SDR value of the part of Australia’s IMF quota held in Australian dollars changes as the exchange rate between the Australian dollar and the SDR fluctuates throughout the year.
Under the IMF Articles of Agreement, members are required to maintain the SDR value of their quota through a ‘maintenance of value’ adjustment (that is, a payment or receipt as necessary) following the close of the IMF financial year on 30 April. For the IMF 2019-20 financial year, the Australian dollar depreciated against the SDR. As a result, the 2019-20 maintenance of value adjustment will involve a payment from Australia to the IMF of around A$648.79 million. Payment for the 2019-20 maintenance of value adjustment is required by the end of July 2020.
Transactions with the IMF in 2019-20 (Cash basis)
Amount in SDRs
Amount in A$
Total interest received on Australia’s SDR holdings(a)
Total remuneration received for Australian holdings at the IMF
Total charges paid on Australia’s SDR allocation
Annual Assessment Fee paid to SDR department
Maintenance of Value transaction for 2019-20
(a) Interest on SDR holdings is paid to the RBA, not to Treasury.
Lending-related transactions and Australia’s reserve position in the IMF
The IMF manages its lending of quota resources through the Financial Transactions Plan (FTP). This is the mechanism through which the IMF selects the currencies to be used in IMF lending transactions. It also allocates the financing of lending transactions among members. Only currencies of IMF members with sufficiently strong balance of payments and reserve positions — such as Australia — are selected for use in the FTP.
The following table provides details of individual FTP transactions and the resulting reserve position at the IMF.
Australia’s reserve tranche position in the IMF, 2019-20
Reserve tranche position as at 30 June 2019(a)
FTP Loan to Pakistan
FTP Loan to Argentina
FTP Loan to Barbados
FTP Loan to Jordan
FTP Loan to Morocco
FTP Loan to Bolivia
FTP Loan to Dominican Republic
Reserve tranche position as at 30 June 2020(a)
(a) Because Australia’s reserve tranche position is denominated in SDRs and AUD/SDR exchange rates vary during the year, when expressed in Australian dollars the closing position does not exactly equal the summation of the opening position and transactions during the year.
FTP transactions (and any transfers for administrative purposes) directly impact on Australia’s reserve position at the IMF. In 2019-20 the amount of Australia’s reserves held by the IMF increased from around SDR 826 million to around SDR 1,431 million.
Through the New Arrangements to Borrow, Australia and 39 other member countries have committed to lend additional resources to the IMF. The New Arrangements to Borrow constitutes a second line of funding defence to supplement IMF resources to forestall or cope with an impairment of the international monetary system. The New Arrangements to Borrow is used in circumstances in which the IMF needs to supplement its quota resources for lending purposes. The New Arrangements to Borrow is covered by general activation periods of up to six months, with each activation period subject to a specified maximum level of commitments. Australia has received New Arrangements to Borrow repayments following past New Arrangements to Borrow lending; however, the New Arrangements to Borrow is not currently active or being called upon.
In 2019-20, Australia received total New Arrangements to Borrow repayments of SDR 51,295,833 (approx. A$106.79 million).
Australia’s NAB Transactions in 2019-20
Total NAB loans (payments)
Total NAB receipts (repayments)
Net NAB payments for 2019-20
The Australian Government earns interest on any money lent under the NAB. In 2019-20, the Australian Government received interest payments on its NAB loans of SDR 1,111,608 (approx. A$2.26 million).
 Charges and interest payments are accrued daily and paid quarterly. The SDR interest rate is the primary rate from which other rates are derived and is based on a weighted average of representative interest rates on short term debt in the money markets of the SDR basket of currencies. The basic rate of charge is equal to the SDR interest rate, plus a margin. Additional burden sharing adjustments, for the financial consequences of protracted arrears, is also applied (when applicable) to the basic rate of charge.
 Interest is calculated using the SDR interest rate, accrued daily and paid quarterly.
Australia and the World Bank Group
Australia’s shareholding and relations with the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group (WBG) is a multilateral development bank charged with providing financial services, through advice, direct loans, grants, and brokerage to support stable and inclusive growth within countries and across and between regions. It works closely with the IMF, which is responsible for ensuring the stability of the international monetary system.
The WBG’s twin goals are ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity.
World Bank Strategic Priorities
The WBG is committed to collaborating with multilateral institutions, sovereigns and the private sector to mobilise financing and leverage knowledge to ensure assistance is harmonised and effective. It is also committed to working with the private sector and is implementing an overarching strategy to substantially increase the volume of private sector funds invested in developing and emerging market economies.
Institutions of the World Bank Group
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
- International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The IBRD and IDA make up the core of the World Bank. The IBRD lends to governments of middle‑income and credit-worthy low-income countries, while IDA provides grants and interest-free or concessional loans to governments of poorer countries.
The IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. It helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing, in association with private investors the establishment, improvement and expansion of productive private enterprises which will contribute to the development of its member countries.
The MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders. The ICSID provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.
Australia’s membership of the IBRD, IFC and MIGA requires the Australian Government to hold shares in these institutions. Australia’s shareholdings as at 30 June 2020 are set out in the table below.
Australian shareholdings at the World Bank Group as at 30 June 2020
Price per share (US$)
Value of total capital (US$ millions)
Value of paid‑in capital (US$ millions)
Value of callable capital (US$ millions)
Value of total capital (A$ millions)
Australia’s shareholding and voting power is listed in the table below:
Australia’s shareholding and voting power in the World Bank Group
Shareholding (per cent of total)
Voting power (per cent of total)
Note: Shareholdings and voting power as at 30 June 2020. Shareholding and voting power differ in IBRD, IFC and MIGA due to the allocation of basic votes across countries. At ICSID, the Administrative Council comprises a representative from each contracting state with equal voting power.
Each arm of the WBG has its own arrangement for allocating votes and shares among members. The Board of Governors and Executive Directors continue to work towards ensuring the WBG has adequate resources to complete its mission and that its shareholding reflects changes in the world economy.
In addition to the shareholdings managed by Treasury, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade contributes to replenishments to IDA and funds for joint activities through Australia’s country, regional and global programs. The DFAT annual report provides information on Australia’s aid program.
Australia’s cooperation with the World Bank Group
Australia is actively involved in WBG strategy, supporting efforts to strengthen its governance and optimise its effectiveness. Membership also enables Australia to pursue economic development outcomes for our region as well as promote the benefits of an open global economy. The rationale for Australia’s active participation in the WBG and how it aligns closely with our national interests and aid priorities is highlighted in the Foreign Policy White Paper.
Australia has also been a strong voice calling for optimal use of the WBG’s balance sheet and crowding in private sector finances, both at the WBG and in the G20 forums.
Australia’s representation at the World Bank Group
Board of Governors
The highest decision-making body of the WBG is the Board of Governors, comprising one governor from each of the 189 member countries. In 2019-20, Australia’s Governor was the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP. Australia’s Alternate Governor was the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP.
The table below outlines the Australian Governors’ votes for the 2019-20 financial year.
Australian Governors’ votes on World Bank Group resolutions in 2019-20
Australian Governors’ vote
Remuneration of Executive Directors and their Alternates
4 September 2019
Review of Remuneration of Executive Directors and their Alternates
4 September 2019
Transfer from Surplus to Fund the IBRD Fund for Innovative Global Public Good Solutions
20 September 2019
Membership of Bunei Darussalam
25 February 2020
Additions to Resources: Nineteenth Replenishment
25 March 2020
Membership of Bulgaria
22 May 2020
Executive Director and Constituency Office
The WBG’s Executive Boards (IBRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA) conduct the day‑to‑day business of the WBG and determine matters of policy under the overall authority of the Board of Governors.
Australia belongs to a constituency of countries from the Asia-Pacific region that includes: Cambodia, Kiribati, the Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The constituency is represented by one Executive Director on the Board of Executive Directors. By agreement, Australia and Korea rotate this role. In 2019-20, the Executive Director was Mr Kunil Hwang from Korea. Mr Gerry Antioch from Australia held the Alternate Executive Director position. Australia also has an adviser in the constituency office.