Memorandum of Understanding between the Association of Serbian Banks and Association of Montenegrin Banks was signed in Belgrade. The MoU was signed by the Secretary General Bratislav Pejaković and the Secretary General, Veroljub Dugalić. This MoU formalised good cooperation and made a new step forward to the support of business relationship. Together with the exchange of information on financial and banking laws and regulation, the further work will be on the increase in the prestige, image and confidence in the banking system, promotion of high standards and corporate governance in the banking industry and introduction with new banking technologies. In that respect, based on joint interest, fora, conferences, seminars, summits, workshops and other meetings will be organised. The mission of the Association of Montenegrin Bank is to proactively anticipate the requirements of banks, follow-up new era, which implies to indicate, in timely manner, to the changes in the functioning of banks in the region and beyond by suggesting implementation of good practices, from the operational advancements to the digitalization. New technologies require new knowledge, where the Association engages renowned lectures from the EU and region, for current topics that tackle payment systems, SWIFT, Cyber of safety networks, international accounting standards, Basel principles and operational problems and all other similar topics that cover complex banking operations. In addition, it enables travel of bankers abroad for educational purposes. In that respect, in addition to the employees from the commercial banks, the representatives of the CBCG are invited to participate in all workshops that relate to regulators. The Association explains in media to business and other public operations of banks, where it also uses the magazine “The Bankar” as its tool. It is used as personal identification and presentation of Montenegrin banking industry to both the domestic institutions and foreign institutions, including European Commission, IMF Mission and the World Bank, diplomatic corps, and the like. The reactions of the readers indicate that the magazine “The Bankar” is informative and read. The Association is a member of and has very good connection with the European Banking Federation, International Banking Council and Inter-Balkan Forum, where it presents banking sector of Montenegro and is current with the harmonisation of EU legislation, and it has technical support for potential problems in its operations through international activity. Moreover, significant obligation of the Association reflects in the discussion on laws and enabling regulation influencing the operations of banks that is performed through 14 Committees that consist of bankers from specific areas and that are coordinated by the Association directly communicating with the CBCG and the Ministry of Finance. The representatives of the Association in the Deposit Protection Fund participate in providing financial data on the system stability. The Association does not differentiate between banks whether they are large, small, foreign owned or local, as all members have the same level of obligations and rights with both the Regulator and the Association, where all have the same objective – stable, liquid and profitable banking system that would follow up investments and economic and social development in qualitative manner. Direct communication with the CBCG is normal with regard to direct items, but the synergy of all members and the defined and harmonised position of all members of the Association makes any approach to the Regulator better as opposed to individual bank approach.
16-17 June Bečići, Montenegro Esad Zaimović, the Chairman of the Montenegrin Association, of Banks and Bratislav Pejaković, Secretary General of the Association, attended the Summit of the Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors and Tax Administrations Directors of the Region “Regional Financial Stability in the New Global Environment”. The Summit presented recommendations of the regional central bank Governors to the Finance Ministers for better coordination of monetary and fiscal policy. The participants also discussed on the effect of the ECB quantitative easing on monetary policy, interest rates and foreign exchange rates of local currencies in the Wester Balkans, potential shocks, banking sector stability and non-performing loans resolution as a prerequisite for increasing lending activity of the banks – based on the experiences from the region. Financial inclusion was also at the agenda of the Summit, as a global challenge and local solution – a challenge for everyone, as well as the role of technologies in the improvement of the financial inclusion. Another topic treated business framework through the discussion on fiscal consolidation measures and measures for further stabilization of public finances of regional countries in medium and long term. A qualitative overview was given regarding the experiences of the regional countries in their cooperation with the IMF. It was also discussed on structural reforms and effects on public finances with the budget deficit which was mentioned as a matter of choice or chance. A special panel was dedicated to the tax administration reforms and combat against non-observed economy. It was discussed on the manner to increase the tax administration efficiency, scope, effects and experiences from the region. Debts of large taxpayers represent a problem in the region. The Summit highlighted the importance of education in the banking area where the Banking Association pays special attention.
On Friday, 16 June 2017, at Centreville hotel, SWIFT will give the presentation of the programme for security system monitoring, Customer Security Programme, that SWIFT created in the aim of raising the awareness in its member banks of the importance of constant improvement of security not only of SWIFT system, but overall IT systems in banks. The presentation will be given by SWIFT expert for security, Mr Bernard Spitz.
On Thursday, 15 June 2017, the regular annual meeting of the representatives of all Montenegrin banks, full members of SWIFT, and Regional Manager of SWIFT for our country, Mr Michael Formann, will be held at Association of Banks premises. Mr Formann will make the presentation about all current issues in functioning of SWIFT system, announce important novelties and discuss potential queries from our banks.
On Thursday, 25 May, the representatives of biggest international organization for banking and financial communication SWIFT held the presentation „SWIFT Financial Crime Compliance“ in the premises of Association of Montenegrin Banks. It was attended by participants from almost all Montenegrin banks, who work in the fields of compliance, AML and international payments . SWIFT has developed set of products and applications that are in offer to its member banks, whose aim is assistance to the banks in identification of both legal and personal entities appearing in payments, who are listed either in world sanctions list or in other black lists. These are the products: KYC Registry, Sanctions Screening, Daily Validation Report, Business Intelligence. The purpose of the presentation, held by Ms Gizem Tansu and Ms Maja Filipovic, was to show these products and additionally raise awareness in our banks about the importance of fight against financial crime.
Education is of Crucial Importance in the West and in the East Association of Montenegrin Banks attended regular meeting of the International Coordination Council of the Banking Associations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Central and Eastern Europe (International Banking Council) in period from 17 to 19 May 2017 in Belgrade. The Association of Montenegrin Banks has been the member of this Council since 2015. The main topic referred to the growing role of national banking associations in the financial education and literacy programmes, whereby the banking indicators and economic trends if member countries were also presented at this meeting. The representatives from Montenegro presented their inclusion in the education this year through the promotion of the European Money Week, where a step forward has been made with the cooperation of the CBCG compared to the previous period. The education is important for both the youngest population, students from elementary and high schools, and for the users and providers of the banking services and representatives of media. The Association will organise a separate seminar in autumn that will be dedicated to the journalists that cover the economic and financial area. In the cooperation with the renowned consultant company from Germany the Association is preparing booklets, which will be used for education purposes of all users of financial services. These booklets will be used for introducing users of financial services with the terminology and procedures in the banking sector. Economic conditions and problems in operations were discussed at this meeting in accordance with the discussions and conclusions of the European Banking Federation, where the Association has been a full member since 2007. The Association reacted promptly by bringing experts from Europe and using reputable audit firms for organising seminars and workshops which discussed the most current topics, like the introduction of the new accounting standard IFRS 9, detail introduction with the Basel III standards and announcement to banks of the Basel IV which preparation is pending, as well as business intelligence and document management system, and workshops on the prevention of money laundering. End of May and June are dedicated to seminars on new protocols of the SWIFT, international payment system and protection against cyber-criminal, which will be lectured by experts from Brussels. The Association has been also working on the improvement of infrastructure framework, which will provide the promptness of data important for passing lending decisions in retail and corporate sectors as well as creating database that may indicate timely trends and adequate responses of the bankers. Special attention is paid to workshops on digital banking, which represents a reality in the world, systems of protection and clearing, where Montenegro is given an opportunity to be the leader in the region in the cooperation with reputable international provider. The participants to the meeting especially commended magazine published by the Association as the only magazine published in the banking and economic professional area, which will soon celebrate ten years of publishing professional banking and economic articles.