Skopje, 2 March 2023
“In the past three years, the banking system has shown great resilience to crises of unseen proportions. Not only that it maintained its stability, but it also provides continuous financial support to the private sector, contributing to a faster recovery of the economy.” This was pointed out by the Vice Governor, Ana Mitreska, who attended the Skopje Economic Forum II, at the panel discussion “Strategies for maintaining the economic growth in times of uncertainty”, which was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, and the Vice President of the Economic Chamber, Zoran Jovanovski.
In her speech, the Vice Governor said that in a phase of two consecutive global crises, the banking system provides credit support with an annual growth in the range from 8 to 9%, and finances are not directed only towards the households sector, but the support to the corporate sector significantly increases. Around 60% of the growth of loans in 2022 are due to the lending to the corporate sector, which is the strongest financial support to this sector in the past period. Of course, this was also a period when the companies had a need for liquidity for working assets in conditions of an energy crisis, but our survey data show that the demand for loans is also encouraged by the companies' needs for investments. At the same time, the banks' condition indicators are favorable. Capitalization is at a level close to 18%, and the quality of the loan portfolio is good, with the share of bad placements in total placements, at the historically low level of below 3%.
“The banking system faced the crises in solid condition, due to the strong regulatory and supervisory framework, harmonized with the highest international standards and the cautious policies of banks. "In the current crisis, in which the risks from the higher inflation, the lower growth, and the energy crisis are intertwined, as a regulator we act proactively on the plan of ensuring sufficient capital in banks to mitigate potential risks. Thus, for example, on two occasions, we increased the capital requirements in the form of countercyclical capital buffer by a total of 0,75 percentage points”, Mitreska said.
“Hence, the Macedonian economy has a well-established banking system that can partly support the structural transformation of the economy, which we need”, the Vice Governor said. She emphasized that the additional financial support aimed at economic diversification, sustainable energy sector, sustainable projects in terms of environment, digitalization and innovations can contribute to increasing the potential for growth of the economy and the general well-being.