"Bank delicensing won't disrupt banking sector"

BELGRADE -- National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Governor Jorgovanka Tabaković has said that the central bank " will do everything to prevent excessive volatility of the dinar."

Jorgovanka Tabaković (R) attends a government session (Beta, file)
Jorgovanka Tabaković (R) attends a government session (Beta, file)

Such volatility of the Serbian currency "would be a burden on the people, economy and government," she said.

"We share the fate of the global financial system and react to any shifts in the U.S., caused by reactions from the Federal Reserve, but also concerning everything that goes on with purchasing foreign currency in Serbia... I cannot guarantee it, but the NBS will do everything it can to make sure the people, economy and government do not suffer because of that volatility," Tabaković told RTS on Sunday.

The early general election will not affect financial stability and the value of the dinar, she noted.

Commenting on Univerzal Banka (bank), which the NBS delicensed, she stressed that all the deposits under EUR 50,000 were protected, and that there would be no delays in paying student loans and scholarships.

"There is no fear for the 434 employees of Univerzal Banka either, at least for now," she said.

The Deposit Insurance Agency, which is the administrator of the bank now, will continue making payments on savings deposits, but not all the deposits are guaranteed, only those ranging up to EUR 50,000, she stated.

The NBS has been dealing with problems related to Univerzal Banka for more than 18 months, Tabaković remarked.

"The recently released article in the media that said Univerzal Banka would go bankrupt was probably ordered by someone," she said, adding that EUR 3 million had been collected from the bank's savings accounts within two days. This was obviously an attempt to drain money from the bank and make the government cover the costs, she explained.

When asked if this hurts the banking sector, Tabaković responded that financial stability did not rest on one single institution.

She did not want to speculate on whether Delta Holding owner Miroslav Mišković owned a majority of the bank, adding that her attitude to every bank was the same.

The NBS delicensed Univerzal Banka a.d. Beograd on January 31 and appointed the Deposit Insurance Agency as its administrator.