“The favorable macroeconomic environment, the solid movements and the performances of the banking systems in the countries of the region of the Western Balkans are the basis for faster credit growth and further deepening of the financial intermediation, in order to support the growth” - emphasized the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, at the traditional forum of the Vienna Initiative 2, which ended on the Thursday. In her speech at the session dedicated to the economic situation in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE), she placed the emphasis on the latest developments and challenges of the banking sector in the Western Balkans. Angelovska Bezhoska, among other things, also indicated the positive developments in the banks' balance sheets from the region, the gradual acceleration in the deposit and credit growth, the outstanding results related to the resolution of non-performing loans, as well as the stronger capitalization and liquidity of the banks, which among other things reflects the tighter financial regulation in the post-crisis period.
Considering the level of real convergence of the economies, the Governor also emphasized the need for creation of conditions for greater mobilization of the domestic financial potential, among other things, also through the development of capital markets and other forms of financial intermediation, that are based on greater fintech application, for which international financial institutions can play a significant role.
High representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also participated in this session of the forum. In the discussion, among other things it was indicated that despite the favorable developments in the region, there is still a need for close monitoring of the risks posed by the increasing trade tensions, the continuing geopolitical instability, the possibility of tightening global financial conditions, but also the higher level of indebtedness in some economies.
Within the forum, the Governor of the National Bank actively participated in the discussion about other issues important for the financial stability in this part of Europe. The participants concluded that the collective and coordinate action of the domestic and local regulators together with the international financial institutions, is a basic prerequisite for maintaining and strengthening of the financial stability and for prevention from systemic crises in this part of Europe. The forum called all relevant institutions to provide deeper financial integration in order to achieve a new, more balanced growth model, with a special emphasis on financing of innovations and small and medium enterprises.
Previously, Angelovska Bezhoska also participated in the conference organized on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Vienna Initiative, by making a speech on the role of foreign banks and the development of the fintech sector in the region. She indicated the advantages of the presence of cross-border banking for the economies, such as the easier access to foreign sources of financing, which is especially important in conditions of insufficient domestic savings, the supply of a wider range of credit and deposit products and the encouraging of savings, but also the benefits in terms of the corporate governance and the risk management. However, cross-border banking by its nature also means a possibility of transferring external shocks to the domestic economy, especially if the banking system is heavily dependent on foreign credit lines. "Our country is one of the few CESEE countries that did not face the problem of deleveraging of the domestic banks and stopping of the financial support from parent banks. This is certainly the result of the prudential policies of the central bank, but also of the cautious behavior of the commercial banks,” - reminded Angelovska Bezhoska before her European colleagues. She also indicated the need for deepening of the cooperation between the domestic and local supervisors, as a basic prerequisite for the effectiveness of supervision, given the dominance of foreign capital in the ownership structure of the banks of the region.
The Governor of the National Bank participated in the two important events of the Vienna Initiative 2 to hold a number of meetings with her colleagues from the central banks from Europe, as well as representatives of the international financial institutions and the European Commission.
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