08 May, 2007
Hellenic Bank Association presided at the 7th members’ meeting of the Interbalkan Forum of Banking Associations in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Forum brought together bank associations from Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Boznia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Slovenia.
The Forum was founded in 2004 on the initiative of the Hellenic Bank Association and meets at secretary-general level of its members. It goal is to exchange information on an institutional level, mutual support and cooperation in financial issues and education in banking matters.
The agenda of the meeting in Sofia included developments of the Bulgarian economy and of the country’s banking system, in which Greek banks are the biggest investors, and of issues related with payment systems. Christos Gortsos, HBA’s secretary-general and president of the Forum, made an overview of developments in European regulatory framework covering all sectors of financial services. The Forum also presented comparative figures by member-states over existing saving guarantees and consumer protection systems and regulations.
Ivan Iskrov, the governor of central bank of Bulgaria, speaking to representatives of the Forum -during a visit to the central bank’s headquarters in Sofia- referred to Bulgaria’s entry in the European Union and the course of the country’s economy.
The Bulgarian banker noted that the economy was growing strong, at an average annual rate of 5.0 pct in the last six years, and enjoyed a fiscal stability.
The Forum will soon publish a report, in English, offering a comparative presentation of banking systems of the countries participating in the Forum, while it is expected to launch in website (http://www.interbalkanforum.net) over the next few days.
The next meetings of the Forum will take place in October 2007 in Greece and in Montenegro in spring 2008. The members of the Forum unanimously approved a three-year extension of the Greek presidency.
Source: Athens News Agency