European Bank Coordination Meeting on Bosnia and HerzegovinaHeld at the Joint Vienna Institute, June 22, 2009
Concluding Statement by Participating Banks
We, the parent institutions of the six largest foreign-owned banks incorporated in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) met in Vienna on June 22, 2009, at the invitation of the Joint Vienna Institute. The meeting took place under the chairmanship of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the participation of the World Bank Group, the EBRD, the EIB, relevant home country authorities (Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany) and host country banking supervisors and officials (the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) and members of the Fiscal Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina), and in the presence of the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
We agreed on the following considerations and conclusions:
1. We accept with satisfaction the shared view of the BiH authorities and the IMF BiH team that the banking sector in BiH is currently in good financial condition, and that the parent banks of the foreign-owned BiH banks have so far behaved responsibly, providing their affiliates in Bosnia and Herzegovina with capital, funding, managerial and other types of expertise as the need arose.
2. The IMF is in the process of finalizing a balance of payments support package for Bosnia and Herzegovina with the participation of the World Bank and the European Commission. We welcome this important development that will ensure the consolidation of macro-economic and financial stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3. We are aware that the success of the macroeconomic program, as well as medium term balance of payments sustainability in Bosnia and Herzegovina will also be favorably enhanced by the continued involvement of the foreign-owned banks.
4. We entered the market in BiH as strategic investors and key contributors to its transition toward an open, market-based economy, based on our assessment of and continued confidence in the country’s long-term growth prospects. We have made substantial investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina over a number of years, and we remain committed to doing business in the country.
5. We are aware that it is in our collective interest and in the interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a coordinated way to maintain our overall exposure to Bosnia and Herzegovina, taking into account the availability of adequate lending opportunities in BiH and within defined sound risk, capital and liquidity management practices.
6. Against this background, we support BiH’s economic and financial sector reforms in the context of its arrangement with the IMF, and welcome, in particular, the authorities’ efforts towards further harmonization of banking supervision practices in BiH.
7. We also note that under the IMF-supported government program, the stress testing capacity of the CBBH and the Entities’ Banking Agencies will be further enhanced and stress tests, based on established IMF methodology, will be conducted in the coming months to estimate the potential losses that the BiH banks might face under diverse scenarios during the period of the IMF program. We support this exercise and are prepared to support our BiH subsidiaries in order to: (i) confirm that these affiliates’ current good financial standing will be preserved throughout the period of market turbulence and economic slowdown; (ii) demonstrate our long-term commitment to the development of the BiH economy; and (iii) signal our willingness to contribute to the efforts of the international community to put in place a comprehensive and well-coordinated response to the crisis. We are prepared to discuss the results of the stress tests in a group as well as bilaterally with the BiH authorities and to agree on necessary further steps based on these discussions.
8. We are therefore prepared to make specific commitments over the next few weeks regarding maintaining our exposure in Bosnia and Herzegovina and providing adequate support to our subsidiaries, within the framework of the multilateral support programs, on a bilateral basis with the CBBH, and in line with guidance received from our home country supervisory authorities, according to European and the respective national regulatory frameworks.
(The statements above by HYPO ALPE-ADRIA-BANK INTERNATIONAL AG are subject to the terms and conditions of the approval of HYPO ALPE-ADRIA-BANK INTERNATIONAL AG’s and Bayern LB’s restructuring plan by the European Commission.)
Intesa SanPaolo Bank