A Chronology Of IMF’s Evolution Since 1944

The International Monetary Fund is established and shall operate in accordance with the provisions of an Agreement as originally adopted and subsequently amended. THE ARTICLE OF AGREEMENT was adopted at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, July 22, 1944. Entered into force December 27, 1945. Amended effective July 28, 1969, by the modifications approved by the Board of Governors in Resolution No. 23-5, adopted May 31, 1968; amended effective April 1, 1978, by the modifications approved by the Board of Governors in Resolution No. 31-4, adopted April 30, 1976; and amended effective November 11, 1992, by the modifications approved by the Board of Governors in Resolution No. 45-3, adopted June 28, 1990.The principal office of the Fund shall be located within the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., United States of America. The Executive Board may establish and maintain agencies or branch offices at any place in the territories of other members, whenever it is necessary to do so in order to facilitate the efficient conduct of the business of the Fund.

July 1–22
IMF and World Bank Articles of Agreement formulated at the International Monetary and Financial Conference, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
December 27
Articles of Agreement enter into force upon signature by 29 governments, representing 80 percent of original quotas.
March 8–18
Inaugural meeting of Board of Governors in Savannah, Georgia: by-laws adopted, agreement to locate IMF headquarters in Washington, first Executive Directors elected.
May 6
Twelve Executive Directors—five appointed and seven elected—hold inaugural meeting in Washington.
September 27–October 5
First Annual Meetings of Boards of Governors of IMF and World Bank in Washington.


March 1
IMF begins operations.
May 8
First drawing from IMF (by France).
August 13–14
Germany and Japan become members.
October 1
Executive Board approves proposals for standardized stand-by arrangements.
January 5
Executive Board adopts terms and conditions of General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB).


February 27
Compensatory financing facility created.
September 29
Board of Governors approves plan to establish special drawing rights (SDRs).
June 25
Buffer stock financing facility established.
July 28
First Amendment to Articles of Agreement, establishing a facility based on the SDR, takes effect after acceptance by three-fifths of membership representing four-fifths of voting power.


January 1
First allocation of SDRs.
August 15
United States informs IMF it will no longer freely buy and sell gold to settle international transactions. Par values and convertibility of the dollar—two main features of Bretton Woods system—cease to exist.
December 18
After four months of negotiating, Smithsonian Agreement provides for realignment of industrial country currencies and increase in price of gold. IMF establishes temporary regime of central rates and wider margins.
July 26
Board of Governors adopts resolution establishing a Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System, known as the Committee of 20.
March 19
“Generalized floating” begins as European Community countries introduce joint float for their currencies against U.S. dollar.


January 17–18
Committee of 20 agrees that world economic conditions require evolutionary approach to monetary reform.
June 12–13
Committee of 20 concludes work, agreeing on immediate program to help monetary system evolve. Executive Board establishes oil facility; adopts “Guidelines for the Management of Floating Exchange Rates,” and new method of SDR valuation based on basket of 16 currencies.
September 13
IMF sets up extended Fund facility to give medium-term assistance to members with balance of payments problems owing to structural economic changes.
October 3
Interim Committee holds inaugural meeting, following its establishment on October 2.
August 1
Executive Board establishes a Subsidy Account to assist the most seriously affected members using the oil facility, to be funded by contributions.
January 7–8
Interim Committee agrees on “interim reform” of monetary system, including amendment of Article IV, and other issues.
May 5
Executive Board establishes a Trust Fund to provide balance of payments assistance to developing country members with profits from sale of gold. The Board decides on policies and procedures for selling gold.
June 2
IMF holds first gold auction under Interim Committee understandings on disposition of one-third of IMF gold holdings. Proceeds of sales to go to Trust Fund to benefit developing countries.
February 4
IMF makes first loan disbursements under Trust Fund.
August 29
Executive Board establishes supplementary financing facility.


April 1
Second Amendment of Articles of Agreement enters into force, establishing right of members to adopt exchange rate arrangements of their choice.
September 24
Interim Committee approves 50 percent quota increase under Seventh Review, which, when accepted by all members, raises IMF general resources to SDR 58.6 billion; it also agrees on new allocations of SDR 4 billion each year for three years beginning January 1979.
December 13
Board of Governors adopts resolutions enabling members to increase their quotas by 50 percent under Seventh General Review of Quotas and provides for allocation of SDR 12 billion during 1979–81.
February 23
Supplementary financing facility enters into force.
April 25
Interim Committee agrees IMF should be ready to play growing role in adjustment and financing of payments imbalances by providing assistance over longer periods and in larger amounts.
September 17
IMF decides to unify and simplify, as of January 1, 1981, currency baskets determining value and interest rate on SDR. Unified basket to be composed of currencies of five members with largest exports of goods and services during 1975–79—U.S. dollar, deutsche mark, French franc, Japanese yen, and pound sterling.
December 1
IMF announces that 128 members have consented to quota increases under Seventh General Review, meeting minimum participation requirement for quota increase, under which aggregate quotas would be raised to SDR 60 billion.
January 1
IMF begins to use simplified basket of five currencies to determine daily valuation of SDR.
March 13
IMF decides to institute policy of enlarged access to its resources following full commitment of resources from supplementary financing facility and until Eighth General Review of Quotas takes effect.
April 23
IMF announces decisions to enhance SDR’s attractiveness as reserve asset. Measures include making interest rate more competitive and eliminating reconstitution requirement (allowing members to use SDRs permanently).
May 7
IMF Managing Director and Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) sign loan agreement allowing IMF to borrow up to SDR 8 billion to finance IMF’s policy of enlarged access, which thus becomes operative.
May 13
IMF reaches agreement in principle with central banks or official agencies of 13 industrial countries, under which they will make available SDR 1.1 billion over two years to help finance the IMF’s policy on enlarged access.
May 21
IMF extends financing to members encountering balance of payments difficulties produced by excesses in cost of cereal imports. Assistance integrated into IMF’s compensatory financing facility.
January 13
Executive Board adopts guidelines for borrowing by IMF as important temporary measure, but member country quotas remain main source of IMF financing.
August 13
Mexico encounters serious problems servicing its foreign debt, marking onset of debt crisis. In following months, IMF supports major adjustment programs in Mexico and several other countries facing severe debt-servicing difficulties.
Interim Committee agrees to increase IMF quotas under Eighth General Review. IMF Board of Governors adopts resolution on quota increase.
November 30
Increases in quotas under Eighth General Review take effect.
December 30
Ten participants in General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) concur on plans to revise and enlarge the GAB.
October 6–7
Interim Committee agrees that approximately SDR 2.7 billion in Trust Fund reflows to become available during 1985–91 be used to provide concessional lending to low-income members.
December 2
IMF Managing Director and World Bank President express broad support for the debt initiative proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker. It calls for comprehensive adjustment measures by debtors, increased and more effective structural lending by multilateral development banks, and expanded lending by commercial banks.
March 27
IMF establishes structural adjustment facility (SAF) to provide balance of payments assistance on concessional terms to low-income developing countries.
April 9–10
Interim Committee calls for enhanced policy coordination to improve functioning of floating exchange rate system.
February 22
Finance ministers of six major nations meet; IMF Managing Director participates. Ministers agree, in Louvre Accord, to intensify policy coordination by periodically reviewing medium-term economic objectives and projections and regularly examining current economic developments, and agree to cooperate closely to foster stability of exchange rates “around current levels.”
December 29
IMF establishes enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF) to provide resources to low-income members undertaking strong three-year macroeconomic and structural programs to improve their balance of payments and foster growth.


April 14–15
Interim Committee agrees on measures to strengthen IMF assistance to members. Extended Fund facility strengthened, and contributor countries agree to make ESAF operational.
August 23
IMF Executive Board establishes compensatory and contingency financing facility, to compensate members with shortfalls in export earnings because of circumstances beyond their control and to help maintain adjustment programs in the face of external shocks.
September 25–26
Interim Committee endorses intensified collaborative approach to arrears problem.
April 3–4
Interim Committee asks Executive Board to consider proposals for developing country debt relief, based in part on proposals by U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady.
May 23
Executive Board adopts guidelines to deal with developing country debt problem. These include linking support for debt-reduction strategies to sustained medium-term adjustment programs with strong element of structural reform and access to IMF resources for debt or debt-service reduction.
May 7–8
Interim Committee agrees to 50 percent quota increase. Committee suggests Executive Board propose Third Amendment to Articles of Agreement, providing for suspension of voting and other membership rights for members that do not fulfill financial obligations to IMF. Committee also approves rights accumulation program, which permits members with protracted arrears to establish a track record on policies and payments performance and accumulate rights for future drawings.
June 28
Executive Board proposes increasing total IMF quotas from SDR 90.1 billion to SDR 135.2 billion under the Ninth General Review of Quotas.
Executive Board approves temporary expansion of IMF facilities to support countries affected by Middle East crisis.
October 5
U.S.S.R. signs agreement with IMF providing for technical assistance, pending its application for full membership.
Executive Board approves membership of many states of former Soviet Union.
August 5
IMF approves SDR 719 million stand-by arrangement for Russia.
Executive Board adopts Third Amendment of Articles of Agreement. Executive Board also determines that requirements for quota increases under Ninth General Review of Quotas have been met.
April 16
Executive Board approves creation of systemic transformation facility (STF)—to assist countries facing balance of payments difficulties arising from transformation from a planned to a market economy—to be in place through 1994.
May 13
Kyrgyz Republic is first member to use STF.
February 23
Executive Board initiates operations under renewed and enlarged ESAF.
IMF approves arrangements for 13 countries of the CFA franc zone, following January realignment of CFA franc.
June 6
IMF announces creation of three Deputy Managing Director posts—first major change in structure of senior management since 1949.
October 2
Interim Committee adopts the Madrid Declaration, calling on industrial countries to sustain growth, reduce unemployment, and prevent a resurgence of inflation; developing countries to extend growth; and transition economies to pursue bold stabilization and reform efforts.
February 1
Executive Board approves a stand-by arrangement of SDR 12.1 billion for Mexico, the largest financial commitment in IMF history.
April 11
Executive Board approves SDR 4.3 billion stand-by arrangement for Russia.
March 26
Executive Board approves an SDR 6.9 billion extended Fund facility arrangement for Russia—the largest EFF in IMF history.
April 16
IMF establishes voluntary Special Data Dissemination Standard for member countries having, or seeking, access to international capital markets. A general data dissemination standard, reflecting an agreement by the IMF and its members on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of the data that members provide to the IMF, is expected by the end of 1996/97.

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