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Enhancing co-operation among the Banking Supervisory Authorities of South Eastern Europe

06/07/2007 - Press Releases

On the initiative of Mr Nicholas C. Garganas, Governor of the Bank of Greece, the Governors of Central Banks of Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Serbia met in Athens on 6 July 2007, with a view to agree on a new framework of enhancing regional co-operation in the area of banking supervision.

Against the background of a constantly rising number of cross-border banking institutions in South Eastern Europe, the Governors discussed and agreed on a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding that defines the areas and terms of co-operation among banking supervisory authorities in the region, while being in line with the existing regulatory and supervisory legal regimes in each country. The Governors also discussed an action programme to facilitate and support the implementation of the new co-operation framework.

The envisaged new co-operation framework would help ensure a more structured form of co-operation and allow banking supervisors to cope more effectively with the increasingly complex banking institutions, thereby contributing to financial stability in the region. The new framework would also help alleviate the administrative burden on the banks stemming from regulatory and reporting requirements. In its design and implementation, the Governors agreed to draw on the evolving experience with the corresponding EU framework and on the principles of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision.

The Governors also decided to broaden the range of the regularly exchanged information in the area of banking supervision, to set up communication networks among the supervisory authorities in the region and to establish working groups to explore the potential for convergence of regulatory and supervisory practices, including those that aim at curbing money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The Governors agreed to explore the possibility of participation in the new co-operation framework also of the supervisory authorities of other countries, who are responsible for banking groups operating in South Eastern Europe.

Finally, it was agreed that the next meeting of the Governors of South Eastern Europe will take place in the first half of next year.

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