“In the past years, there has been a faster growth of the FinTech sector in Central and Southeast Europe, although it significantly lags behind the one in the developed economies. The financial innovations stimulated by the FinTech companies basically lead to better and more competitive financial services, and at the same time, stimulate greater competition and innovations among the traditional financial institutions - the banks"- the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska emphasized at the 7th meeting of the governors from the region, which was held yesterday in Savudrija, Croatia.
The focus of this significant event, organized by one of the most prominent and influential business magazines on the Croatian market, the business weekly "Leader", this year was put on the challenges brought by the technological innovations in the field of financial services - FinTech. It was also discussed on the issues on how the central banks keep up with the developments and trends in the field of FinTech, and what is the area they pay the biggest attention to, can FinTech affect the monetary policy and the achievement of the central bank goals, and how they impact on the financial stability in future. These are just some of the issues that, besides governess Angelovska Bezoska, were discussed yesterday by the central bank governors of Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, as well as the Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Former Governor of the Central Bank of Israel, Karnit Flug, also had a presentation at the meeting.
At the first panel discussion of the meeting, the five high-ranking central bank representatives from the region were unanimous in the assessment that the development of the financial sector could lead to a number of benefits for financial services users, and that proper monitoring by regulators is needed, due to timely detection and response to potential risks. In her presentation, the Governor Angelovska Bezhoska also referred to the activities of our central bank related to this issue, such as the new Draft Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems, which should further enable greater competition in the segment of payment services, the promotion of the payment statistics for better monitoring of the innovations in the financial sector, as well as the preparatory activities for establishing an innovation center within the National Bank, which will be a platform for discussion of the new financial products and services of the financial industry.
The participants of this panel discussion also tackeled the current regulatory and institutional framework regarding to FinTech, as well as for the various aspects for consumer protection. Simultaneously, discussions on numerous issues on how the FinTech could affect the commercial banks now and on a long run were opened. At the end of the panel discussion, it was underlined that financial innovations are not novelty, but that it is a new way of using technology in the sphere of finance, which significantly increases competition in the financial sector. In addition, the need for bigger investments in technology also by the commercial banks was emphasized.
The second panel discussion was dedicated to investments in Southeastern Europe and was attended by representatives of several commercial banks in the region.
The meeting organized by the Croatian weekly "Leader" is one of several traditional events where senior central bank officials from the region have the opportunity to exchange opinions and jointly draw conclusions on the most current and biggest challenges for monetary policy at the regional level. The Governor Angelovska Bezhoska used her participation in this year's Meeting also for bilateral meetings with colleagues from other central banks in the region, as well as representatives of international institutions and organizations that attended the event. At the meetings, the emphasis was put on the ideas and possibilities for further improvement and strengthening of the regional cooperation between the central bank institutions.
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