19th March 2020, Skopje – The National Bank and the Ministry of Finance conduct coordinate monitoring of the economy and any potential risks for the purposes of taking corresponding action.  Today, the Financial Stability Committee, an interdepartmental body responsible for monitoring the financial system, composed of representatives of both institutions, held an electronic meeting. Governor Anita Angelovska-Bezhoska chaired the meeting, together with the Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska.

19th March 2020, Skopje – Representatives of both the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance analyzed the situation in the banking sector in light of the current events related to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The Committee concluded that the banking system was stable. The banks continue providing services to the citizens and the companies and are prudent in their operations. Onsite information shows that banks are also ready to run business in emergency and follow the prevention recommendations.

The Committee particularly referred to the latest regular quarterly stress test carried out by the National Bank as of 31 December 2019, confirming the stability of the banking system and its resilience to simulated shocks.

The economic effects of the virus are still uncertain both globally and nationally and depend on its duration and severity. Both the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance are constantly updating the information and assessing any possible effects on the domestic economy, for the purpose of timely assessment of the need for taking appropriate measures.

As pointed out in the meeting, in the coming days, the National Bank Council is expected to adopt a regulatory amendment to ease the standards for household and corporate loans restructuring.

Earlier this week, the National Bank cut the reference interest rate to 1.75%, after which the National Bank Council adopted several regulatory changes to mitigate any adverse effect on the economy. Some of them are expected to promote greater credit support and more favorable credit standards for the affected companies, since the amount of new or restructured loans granted to these companies will be a deduction from the banks’ reserve requirement with the National Bank. A decision was also adopted to postpone the application of some regulatory requirements to allow banks to be more focused on lending to businesses and households.

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