April 22, 2017 / 4:32 PM / 4 months ago

Germany's Schaeuble warns against financial regulation rollback

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) chats with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as they take their seats for a "family" photo for the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), as part of the IMF and World Bank's 2017 Annual Spring Meetings, in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2017.Mike Theiler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday warned against a hasty and uncoordinated rollback of financial regulation, saying such a move could jeopardise stability.

"Only a well-monitored and responsibly regulated financial sector will be resilient enough to provide a sound basis for sustainable growth," Schaeuble said in a speech to the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

"Therefore, we should remain committed to support the timely, full and consistent implementation of the agreed financial sector reforms," he told the International Monetary Fund's steering committee.

Schaeuble, who is among the financial officials attending the IMF and World Bank spring meetings this week, also reiterated the importance of trade and urged nations to resist protectionism.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (2nd L) greets Pakistan's Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar as (seated, L-R) Mexico's Finance Minister Agustin Carstens, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin take their seats for a family photo for the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), as part of the IMF and World Bank's 2017 Annual Spring Meetings, in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2017.Mike Theiler

"Trade has benefited the world economy enormously – pulling millions out of poverty, bringing prosperity and stability," he said.

"Turning back the clock on globalisation could harm growth substantially. It would also destabilise emerging economies – some of which have already suffered from low commodity prices, volatile currencies and fluctuating capital flows in recent years."

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose measures to restrict imports, criticizing countries like Germany and China for running large trade surpluses with the United States and benefiting from weak currencies.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the head of the People's Bank of China, also urged IMFC members to embrace globalisation and free trade.

"It is especially important to enhance the multilateral system of open and free trade and investment, jointly resist protectionism, and accelerate the liberalisation of global trade and investment," he said in his IMFC speech.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Paul Simao

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