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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

KDI 정책연구. Vol. 25, No. 1, June 2003, pp. 99-145

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Quasi-fiscal Activities of the Bank of Korea (Written in Korean)

Young sun Koh

Author & Article History

Manuscript .


Quasi-fiscal activities (QFAs) refer to those activities that public corporations carry out to achieve policy objectives of the government. QFAs often lead to the understatement of the government involvement in the economy and the overstatement of its financial balance, thereby lowering fiscal transparency and hiding fiscal risks. Central banks, as public corporations, perform various QFAs in many countries. I define QFAs in this case as those activities that are not directly related to the intrinsic function of central banks, whose responsibility lies in the administration of monetary policy and the provision of banking services for the government and commercial banks. In Korea, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has been an active source of QFAs. Of particular importance are the policy loans to commercial banks to promote their lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises and others. The outstanding stock of policy loans increased rapidly in the aftermath of the recent economic crisis, and stood at 7.6 trillion won (20 percent of the reserve money) at the end of 2002. Another important QFA by BOK stems from the transfer of part of its profits to the central government. The accumulated transfer during 1998-2002 amounted to 9.9 trillion won. My calculation shows that if these and other QFAs had been carried out by the government as explicit fiscal activities, the consolidated central government financial balance would have been below the actual balance by about 0.5 percent of GDP in each year since the economic crisis. It is suggested that the QFAs by BOK be reduced in coming years not only to enhance fiscal transparency but also to expand the flexibility of BOK's reserve management. Abolishing policy loans and minimizing transfers to the government would be the first step in this direction. BOK should also consider paying interest on the government deposit held in BOK.


준재정활동, 중앙은행, 정책금융, 재정수지

JEL Code

H62, E58, H81

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