Mr. Ralph De Haas, Ms. Yevgeniya Korniyenko, Mr. Alexander Pivovarsky, and Ms. Elena Loukoianova
We use data on 1,294 banks in Central and Eastern Europe to analyze how bank ownership and creditor coordination in the form of the Vienna Initiative affected credit growth during the 2008–09 crisis. As part of the Vienna Initiative western European banks signed country-specific commitment letters in which they pledged to maintain exposures and to support their subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe. We show that both domestic and foreign banks sharply curtailed credit during the crisis, but that foreign banks that participated in the Vienna Initiative were relatively stable lenders. We find no evidence of negative spillovers from countries where banks signed commitment letters to countries where they did not.
The global financial crisis unmasked Serbia’s unsustainable pre-crisis growth model. Looking back, the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) provided effective insurance against a financial meltdown, initiated the needed re-balancing of the economy, but could not prevent large job losses. Looking ahead, the transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. The export-led recovery is expected to continue picking up steam, but labor market conditions will remain difficult. The current account deficit is expected to remain relatively high, requiring significant capital inflows to maintain external balance.
While large inflows of capital into Southeastern Europe (SEE) have raised incomes, this has increased vulnerability to financial risks, which, if realized, can lead to costly adjustments. Traditional vulnerability indicators in SEE have reached levels that in other countries have not been sustainable, and sectoral analysis shows rising imbalances and raises questions about efficient use of the inflows. While factors related to EU integration mitigate these vulnerabilities, weaker institutions reduce these benefits in SEE compared to more advanced European emerging markets. To insure against setbacks to income convergence, SEE policymakers should take measures to reverse the buildup of vulnerabilities.
This paper discusses key finding of the Assessment Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Monetary and Financial Policy Transparency, Banking Supervision, and Payment Systems for Serbia. The assessment reveals that the transformation of Serbia’s financial system is bringing important benefits, but there are emerging signs that the rapid pace of credit growth is beginning to erode financial stability. The main potential threat to financial stability is indirect credit risk arising from the large share of bank lending effectively denominated in foreign exchange.
This paper summarizes recent developments in the relationships between the IMF, member countries, and commercial banks, with specific reference to five European countries. The paper also highlights that Better assessment of trends in the market and of the attitude of commercial banks toward borrowing countries. These would include: a deeper analysis of capital flows, with special attention to interbank transactions; an improvement in the collection of statistical data and additional efforts made by member countries to release adequate information; and a further examination of the usefulness of setting up in the Fund an internal country risk assessment statistical model. The report also suggests that there should be adequate Fund involvement in rescheduling negotiations through discussions with Paris Club members on rescheduling patterns and possibly through an elaboration of guidelines for rescheduling bank claims; appropriate action to cope with liquidity crises; and adequate international cooperation among central banks acting as lenders of last resort.