BANK OF ALBANIA
Roundtable of the Bank of Albania with the banking system and the Albanian Association of Banks
Publication date: 13.07.2023
On 13 July 2023, the Bank of Albania held a roundtable with the Supervisory Board of the Albanian Association of Banks and executives of commercial banks that operate in Albania. The meeting was organized on the initiative and chaired by the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr Gent Sejko, in view of building a continuous dialogue with the banking system and bolstering the cooperation on current issues with special importance.
In this meeting, it was presented the Bank of Albania's assessment on the financial situation in Albania. Also, developments over this period and the future challenges were at the focus of the discussions. The last few years have been difficult and challenging, for both the Albanian economy and the banking industry. The frequent and complex shocks we have faced, such as the earthquake, the pandemic and high prices in global markets, have called for courageous and far-sighted decisions. Nevertheless, we have succeeded, so far, to preserve both the overall monetary and financial stability of Albania, and the positive trend of economic growth.
The Albanian economy has a considerable financial soundness as a result of: the continuous improvements in the external sector; the public debt under control; the operational flexibility; and the good levels of balance sheets of the Albanian enterprises.
Also, the banking sector has sound balance sheets and a high level of resilience against possible shocks. This resilience reflects its stable business model, the high liquidity level and the satisfactory capitalization rate. This sector, as a whole, shows an additional prudence and pro-active approach to lending to the economy. The Bank of Albania is confident that the banking sector will continue to support the Albanian economy with funds and credit, in 2023 and beyond.
The strengthening of the exchange rate, its impact on the progress of several Albanian enterprises and the contribution that the banking system can provide in this regard, were also important issues addressed in this roundtable. The appreciation of the lek exchange rate has reflected the continuous improvement in the international trade balance, as well as the increase of interest, in general, to save and invest in our domestic currency. In this meeting, the Bank of Albania highlighted the need for commercial banks to further advance with forward contracts in order for customers to deal with the foreign exchange rate - by offering it at any given moment, especially for export companies. Also, banks were urged to be as supportive as possible for other aspects of bank-customer business relations, especially to credit-related ones, with a view to ease the burden on export companies at the fullest extent in tackling this current difficult situation.
Discussions also focused on the development of the Albanian banking system in terms of offering new services and products. The Bank of Albania has paid special attention to these services through the establishment of the necessary regulatory framework, technical infrastructure, and it remains ready to support all requests or needs in this regard.
At the end of the discussions, the Albanian Association of Banks thanked the Bank of Albania for this very positive and fruitful meeting, availing especially the support provided to the banking system throughout this challenging period.
Both parties expressed their full commitment for the continuation of mutual institutional cooperation, as well as, with the central and local authorities, in order to have a sound and supportive banking sector for the economic growth of Albania.