Publication Date 09.04.2013
The first meeting of the Albania financial Forum, a host country cross-border banking forum, was held in Tirana today. The meeting was hosted by the Governor of the Bank of Albania Mr. Fullani and co-organized by the International Monetary Fund. It brought together the main banking groups operating in Albania, their subsidiaries, banking regulators from Austria, France, Turkey, and Italy. Participant and discussant in this forum was the Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode as well as representatives of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Banking Authority, and the European Central Bank.
Participants discussed prospects for the Albanian economy and financial system, local bank strategies, the role of Albanian subsidiaries in the operations of the banking groups, and the implications of broader international banking initiatives. There was a frank discussion of the challenges that the participants face in their activity, with a focus on how the regulatory framework and banks' business strategies can help improve efficiency of banking operations in Albania while ensuring financial stability, and what international organizations can do to support this process.
A special session was devoted to improving financial intermediation In Albania, focusing on the issues of non-performing loans, financial and capital market development, and the role of international and regional initiatives in promoting progress in this area. Participants discussed factors behind the recent sluggish credit growth in Albania and measures that could be taken to improve it.
Participants all expressed their commitment to engagement in Albania and agreed that the meeting had provided a very useful opportunity for a frank exchange of views and the identification of issues to be followed up.
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The meeting was held under the auspices of the second Vienna Initiative, which brings together the major international bank groups operating in Central, Eastern and South East Europe, their local subsidiaries, the home and host regulators and international organizations to discuss and resolve matters of common interest. (http://www.vienna-initiative.com/)