Banking group IIF to proceed with annual meeting in earthquake-hit Morocco

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Institute of International Finance said on Monday it would still hold its annual membership meeting in Marrakech on Oct. 12-14, following the World Bank and International Monetary Fund decision to stick to their own Morocco meeting plans after a devastating Sept. 8 earthquake.

The IIF, the global banking industry’s premier trade group, said its parallel meeting would bring together central bankers, policymakers and top finance executives to discuss key issues, including the global economic outlook, climate transition finance and emerging market debt.

The group said it will offer its members opportunities to support local vendors and artisans in the Marrakech community and donate to World Central Kitchen’s relief efforts in Morocco, its designated charity for the meetings.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake centered 45 miles (72 km) from Marrakech killed more than 2,900 people and damaged nearly 60,000 homes in 2,930 villages, mostly in the High Atlas mountains, with a total population of 2.8 million people, the Moroccan government said on Friday.

Marrakech suffered some damage in its ancient Medina quarter, but more modern parts of the city, including hotels and the IMF-World Bank venue, are intact. The IMF, World Bank and IIF meetings are jointly expected to bring more than 10,000 people to Marrakech.

IIF President and CEO Tim Adams said in a statement that the meetings in Marrakech come “at a time when our mission of fostering financial stability and sustainable growth is more critical than ever.”

“The global financial industry is the engine of economic growth and resilience. And this year, our mission takes on an added layer of significance following the tragic earthquake in Morocco,” Adams said.

Among policy makers on the IIF’s meeting agenda are Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, European Commission financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness, European Central Bank policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau and Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director Ravi Menon.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Bill Berkrot)