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Balkan central banks agree to cooperate

Central bank heads or representatives from the Balkan countries on Friday signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen regional banking supervision and to reduce administrative charges on banks. 

The agreement, initiated by the Bank of Greece, was reached by heads of central banks from Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Macedonia, Serbia and an official from the National Bank of Romania.

Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas said the signing of the memorandum will create a new framework to enhance regional cooperation in the banking sector, similar to the one existing between Scandinavian countries. He said the new cooperation framework will facilitate efforts to ensure a better-structured form of cooperation and allow banking authorities to deal more effectively with the complexity of financial institutions. They also agreed to expand a policy of exchanging information on banking supervision, to establish communications networks between supervisory boards and set up working groups to examine the possibility of converging regulatory and supervisory practices that combat money laundering and terror funding. (