Bosnia and Herzegovina
Financial Sector Assessment Program-Detailed Assessment of Observance of the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures

This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the CPMI–IOSCO (Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures–International Organization of Securities Commissions) Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Major achievements have been made in modernizing the payment system. Resiliency of the interbank payment system was demonstrated against the severe floods of May 2014. The currency board arrangement has helped protect the payment system from credit risks. The formal assessment of the real-time gross settlement system suggests that many of the standards are observed. The legal basis is relatively sound, but finality and netting arrangements require greater legal certainty and protection at the law level.

Abstract

This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the CPMI–IOSCO (Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures–International Organization of Securities Commissions) Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Major achievements have been made in modernizing the payment system. Resiliency of the interbank payment system was demonstrated against the severe floods of May 2014. The currency board arrangement has helped protect the payment system from credit risks. The formal assessment of the real-time gross settlement system suggests that many of the standards are observed. The legal basis is relatively sound, but finality and netting arrangements require greater legal certainty and protection at the law level.

Introduction

1. This report contains the assessment of the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system and authorities’ responsibilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The RTGS system is a systemically important payment system that handles large-value interbank settlements. The assessment was undertaken in the context of the IMF’s FSAP to BiH in October and November 2014.1 The assessor would like to thank the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) for the excellent cooperation and hospitality.

2. The objective of the assessment has been to identify potential risks related to the RTGS system that may affect financial stability. While safe and efficient payment systems contribute to maintaining and promoting financial stability and economic growth, they may also concentrate risk. If not properly managed, such financial market infrastructures (FMIs) can be sources of financial shocks, such as liquidity dislocations and credit losses, or a major channel through which these shocks are transmitted across domestic and international financial markets.

3. The scope of the assessment includes the RTGS system and the CBBH, which is the authority responsible for its oversight. The RTGS system is assessed using 18 of the 24 principles applicable for payment systems under the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMIs).2 This includes: Principle 1 (Legal basis), Principle 2 (Governance), Principle 3 (Framework for the comprehensive management of risks), Principle 7 (Liquidity risk), Principle 8 (Settlement finality), Principle 9 (Money settlements), Principle 13 (Participant-default rules and procedures), Principle 15 (General business risk), Principle 17 (Operational risk), Principle 18 (Access and participation requirements), Principle 19 (Tiered participation arrangements), Principle 21 (Efficiency and effectiveness), Principle 22 (Communication procedures and standards), and Principle 23 (Disclosure of rules, key procedures, and market data). The CBBH is also assessed against Responsibilities A to E of the PFMIs.

4. The methodology for the assessments was derived from the CPMI-IOSCO PFMI Disclosure Framework and Assessment Methodology of December 2012. Prior to the mission, the CBBH prepared the self-assessment of the RTGS system and authorities’ responsibilities against the PFMIs, and completed the Questionnaire on FMIs in BiH. Furthermore, the assessor studied the relevant national laws, CBBH Annual Reports, CBBH Financial Stability Reports, and CBBH RTGS Operational Rules. The assessor had daily and thorough discussions with the CBBH, and met representatives from relevant public authorities and the private sector.

Overview of Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Landscape

A. Description of Landscape

5. There are 4 FMIs located in BiH (Figure 1). There are two interbank payment systems, including the RTGS system which handles high-value credit transfers and the Giro Clearing System (GCS) that processes low-value transactions. The GCS and Bam Card, which is a card switching network, calculate and settle their net positions in the RTGS system. There are two central securities depositories (CSD) that also function as securities settlement systems. This includes the Central Registry of Securities (CRS) JSC Banja Luka that handles transactions for the Banja Luka Stock Exchange (BLSE), and the Registry of Securities of the FBiH (RVP) that supports the Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SSE). There are no central counter parties or trade repositories in either entity. International clearing services, transaction and credit registries, and internal payment systems also form part of the payments landscape, but are not considered FMIs.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Overview of the Trading, Clearing, and Settlement Organization

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2015, 217; 10.5089/9781513549002.002.A001

Source: IMF staff.Note: CSDs hold special accounts for settlement purposes at the CBBH Main Bank of RS and Sarajevo Main Unit.

B. Payment Systems

Real-Time Gross Settlement System

6. The RTGS is the large-value interbank payment system. The value of transaction settled was KM 9 billion when it was introduced in 2001. As of 2013, this increased seven fold to KM 63 billion, which was 2.42 times of GDP (Table 1). The average daily value of RTGS transactions was KM 298 million in 2014 (as of November 2014). This increased from KM 263 million in 2013. The system is owned and operated by the CBBH. Transactions are processed and settled continuously and irrevocably in real-time. Final settlement of financial obligations between its participants is executed by entries to their settlement account held at the CBBH. All large-value interbank transfers are channeled through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network. CBBH RTGS operational hours are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Payments are accepted and settled until 4:00 p.m.

Table 1.

Annual Transaction Volume and Value Processed by FMIs in 2013

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Sources: CBBH, RVP, CRS.Note: Nominal GDP in 2013 amounted to BAM 26.12 billion.

7. The RTGS system accepts payment instructions for interbank payments and settles interbank obligations from net clearing arrangements. CBBH rules require use of the RTGS system for interbank payments above KM 10,000. There is no minimum amount for a payment to be made through the RTGS system, enabling it to also handle time-critical low-value payments. The RTGS system settles GCS net balances at 3 daily intervals (10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.). Net positions from the Bam Card switching and processing center are settled at 9:00 a.m. Inter-branch funds transfers within a same bank, which is a RTGS participant, is not permitted. Participants numbered 29 as of November 2014, including 28 commercial banks and the CBBH.

Giro Clearing System

8. The CBBH also owns and operates the GCS. The GCS handles low-value (equal to or below KM 10,000) and non-urgent credit transfers and direct debit transactions on a same-day basis. The CBBH also considers the GCS to be a systemically important payment system. As of 2013, it settled KM 13 billion. The GCS is a deferred net settlement system based on multilateral clearing. The number of GCS participants is similar to the RTGS system. The GCS uses SWIFT message formats, but not the SWIFT network. The CBBH has developed a proprietary banking and telecommunications network in BiH, which connects all commercial banks to the 3 GCS main units (Banka Luka, Mostar, and Sarajevo) and the GCS center. All net positions from the GCS branches and the GCS center are sent to the RTGS system for final settlement. CBBH GCS operational hours are weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Clearing of International Payments

9. The CBBH handles the clearing of euro payments between BiH and Serbia, which are settled afterwards in commercial bank money. Launched in February 2008, the service is operated by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) and settles euro-denominated payments between BiH and Serbia on a same-day basis. Net positions of commercial banks are first cleared on a multilateral basis at the CBBH and NBS. Aggregate net positions are then calculated by each central bank and settled in their euro accounts held at a foreign commercial bank. Participants included 5 commercial banks located in BiH. Total payment orders amounted to 122 million euros in 2013. It is envisaged that such international payment arrangements will include the 7 members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (Albania, BiH, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo), and create the basic prerequisites for accession to the European Union. A similar agreement was signed between the CBBH and the Central Bank of Montenegro in September 2007.

Transaction and Credit Registries

10. The CBBH maintains a transaction registry as part of its tasks in the payment system. The Single Registry of Legal Entities’ Transaction Accounts aims to protect the internal payment system from financial integrity risks. Since July 2004, the CBBH has maintained this transactions registry, which monitors the disclosure of all financial transactions of business entities in BiH and is used by commercial banks, the tax administrator, and police for the purpose or preventing illegal activities such as tax evasion and money laundering. It also helps authorities identify shell companies and facilitate the enforced collection process. This provides information to all legal and physical entities whose settlement activities through authorized institutions are subject to mandatory requirements. A single database of all blocked accounts of legal entities in BiH was established in November 2012, and is disclosed on the CBBH’s website and updated on a monthly basis. This helps business entities obtain the status of their current or potential business partners. As of 2013, the total number of access points to the transaction registry was 1,550, and was mainly used by commercial banks. There were a total of 279,511 accounts in the transaction registry, including 214,686 active and 64,825 blocked accounts.

11. The CBBH also operates a central credit registry to help assess client creditworthiness. Since April 2006, the CBBH has managed the Central Registry of Credits, which supports the assessment by financial institutions of the potential credit risks posed by legal and physical entities. This assessment is based on the collection of debt data from such entities, which is updated daily and supports the processing of loan applications. The beneficiaries of the credit registry include the CBBH, banking agencies, and commercial banks. Data is submitted by 29 commercial banks, 18 microcredit organizations, 9 leasing companies, and 3 other institutions. The credit registry was accessed 2.7 million times in 2013 from 1,529 access points and used mainly by commercial banks.

C. Central Securities Depositories and Securities Settlement Systems

12. The stock exchange in each entity is supported by a separate CSD. The BLSE and SSE market capitalization amounted to KM 4.1 billion and KM 4.7 billion in 2013, respectively. CSDs in both entities handle dematerialized securities and settle on a delivery versus payment basis. The CBBH and custodian banks are involved in the payment process. Custodian banks inform the stock exchanges and/or CSDs on the amount of net debts or claims. CSDs open special purpose accounts at the CBBH. Such accounts are governed by two separate contracts signed between the CBBH and CSDs, which are for the purpose of deposit services and execution of electronic banking, and are used exclusively for the clearing and settlement of net debts or claims with settlement banks. Brokerage firms hold the records on securities and funds of their clients in collective and individual accounts opened with the CSD, and on the special purpose account with a settlement bank. Client funds stored in this special purpose account are separated from the broker’s own funds. Settlement and custodian banks are commercial banks which have been issued with relevant licenses for this type of operations from the competent securities commission in each entity. Banks headquartered in one entity may obtain a license in the other entity.

Republic Srpska: Central Registry of Securities

13. The CRS acts as the registry and clearing house for securities. The CRS was established in February 2001 pursuant to the Law on the Central Registry of Securities and is incorporated as a joint stock company. The CRS opens and maintains the accounts of owners of securities, issuers, stock exchange intermediaries, other members of the CRS and their clients, custody accounts, and accounts for depositing securities. The CRS performs clearing, settlement, and the transfer of securities and financial obligations and claims arising from trading activities on the stock exchange. Financial instruments registered include shares, bonds, and treasury bills. There were 14 members as of December 31st, 2013, comprising of 10 stock exchange intermediaries and 4 custodian banks. The risk rating for the CRS was assessed as low by an international rating and advisory agency in 2013. The CRS registered net profits during 2012 and 2013 and its financial statements were independently audited.

14. The settlement of securities is based on two different models. For stock exchange transactions, delivery versus payment (DVP) Model 2 is used. Securities are settled on a gross basis and cash settlements are completed on a netting basis CRS’ special account held at the CBBH Main Bank of the RS at T+3. The settlement cycle for stock exchange transactions will be shortened to T+2 starting in early 2015. For money market transactions (treasury bills, repos), DVP Model 1 is used. Securities are settled on a gross basis and cash settlements occur on a same day basis at T+0. All CRS registered securities are in dematerialized form and have allocated International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) codes.

15. A guarantee fund helps protect members from the potential default of a participant. The CRS is required to establish a guarantee fund under the Law on Securities Markets. This requires the CRS to open and deposit funds (called basic payments) in a special account held at the CBBH. CRS’ Management Board may decide to make a six months fixed deposit for all or part of the funds. The guarantee fund is made in cash by members and comprises of two parts, including basic and additional payments, for the clearing, settlement, and transfer of securities. Basic payments are calculated twice a year, fixed for the next six months, and applied similarly for all members. The amount of basic payments varies with the average daily value of net cash liabilities of all CRS members in the previous semi-annual financial period, the number of members, and the average risk coefficient. Additional payments are calculated on a monthly basis and are determined individually for each settlement member based on their obligations from stock exchange transactions executed during the past month. The guarantee fund was not used as of end-2013 and amounted to KM 1.7 million as of October 28, 2014. This comprises of KM 140,000 of basic payments and KM 1.77 million of additional payments.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Registry of Securities

16. The RVP provides the gross settlement of securities against the net settlement of funds for the SSE. The RVP was established as a joint stock company in 1999. Under the Law on the Registrar of Securities (Article 2), the RVP performs securities clearing and settlement operations as part of its activities, which also include registration, safekeeping, maintaining information on securities, and securities transfers. The RVP holds securities, bonds, commercial paper, and treasury bills in dematerialized form. All financial instruments have been given ISIN codes. The RVP functions on DVP Model 2, where securities transfers are settled on an obligation-to-obligation basis. Cash settlement is on a netting basis at T+3 through the RVP’s special account held at the CBBH Sarajevo Main Unit. There are currently plans to shorten the settlement cycle for stock exchange trades to T+2, which is under consideration by the Securities Commission of the FBiH. The RVP maintains securities accounts of participants. Participants contribute to a guarantee fund, which is also comprised of a basic and additional component. Total basic payments contributed by member amounted to KM 90,000 at end-October 2014. In addition to the RVP, participants include brokerage houses, custodian banks, the Securities Commission of the FBiH, the SSE, and commercial banks.

D. Regulatory, Supervisory, and Oversight Structure

Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina

17. The CBBH has oversight responsibilities for the RTGS system. The Law on the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina of 1997 (Chapter 1, Article 2, paragraph 3c) empowers the CBBH ‘to promote or to establish and maintain appropriate payment and settlement systems.’ The Law of the CBBH also establishes the rule for reserve requirements (Article 36) and money market operations (Article 37), which underpins the currency board arrangement.

18. CBBH payment systems are governed by operational rules, instructions, and decisions. The CBBH’s RTGS Operational Rules of 2004 establishes the rights and responsibilities of the CBBH and RTGS participants, participation requirements, operational practices, clearing of net positions from the card switching network and the GCS, and contingency procedures. CBBH GCS Operational Rules of 2004 govern separately the giro clearing system. RTGS operational rules (Section 4.3.6) stipulate that the CBBH would act in accordance with GCS operational rules in the event that an RTGS participant has failed to obtain sufficient funds for settlement. Instructions that have been issued relate to the structure and use of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and reserve requirement. Decisions have included alternative back up procedures for RTGS operations, and minimal computer configurations and back up location for the GCS.

19. CBBH staff have mainly operational responsibilities in the payment system. There are currently 30 personnel whose tasks relate to payment operations. The Payment Systems Department (PSD) is located in the Sarajevo Main Unit of the CBBH and has three units, including: (i) Payment Systems Operations Unit, (ii) Information Technology Support Unit, and (iii) SWIFT Unit. The PSD is staffed with 18 persons, comprised of the department head, 3 unit managers, and 14 officers. The Department for Monitoring Payment Systems and Back-Up Systems is located at the Main Bank of RS of the CBBH in Banja Luka. It is staffed with 6 persons, including the department head, and is responsible for GCS operations and disaster recovery and back-up operations. The Unit for Monitoring and Payment Systems operates from two separate locations at the CBBH Sarajevo Main Unit and the CBBH Mostar Main Unit. Each unit is staffed with 3 persons and is responsible for GCS operations and back-up operations.

Entity Banking Agencies

20. Banking agencies in the entities are empowered to issue and revoke licenses for authorized organizations to perform operations in internal payment transactions. This includes the Banking Agency of RS (BARS) and the Banking Agency of the FBiH (FBA). Banks are permitted to participate in the payment system as part of their licenses under the RS Law on Banks and the FBiH Law on Banks. Authorized organizations include banks headquartered in the entities, bank branch offices, and other entities that perform operations in internal payment transactions on behalf of authorized organizations. The CBBH is also empowered to perform internal payment transactions. Internal payment transactions fall under 15 categories as follows: (i) opening, maintaining and closing of participants’ accounts, (ii) keeping records on participants’ accounts, (iii) receiving and processing data from payment orders, (iv) executing payment orders and transferring funds from one account to another, (v) conducting cashless payment transactions by means of telecommunication, digital and information technology facilities, (vi) recording payment transactions in accounts, (vii) performing payment transactions in cash, (viii) providing services related to issuance and/or acceptance of payment instruments, and money consignments, (ix) performing treasury-vault operations and ensuring cash storing and safeguarding, (x) settling interbank payment orders in keeping with the regulations governing payment transactions, (xi) keeping records on the sequence of payments and other prescribed records, submitting data and reports in accordance with the law and other regulations, (xii) sending reports to participants – holders of accounts on the balance and changes in their accounts, (xiii) executing orders for enforced collection in accordance with laws and regulations, (xiv) filing and storing documents containing data on internal payment transactions, and (xv) performing other operations in accordance with the regulations.

21. BARS is empowered by law and decisions to ensure the financial soundness of banks. The RS Law on Internal Payment Systems of 2012 (Article 46) gives supervisory powers to the agency and other regulatory authorities to cooperate in the monitoring of payment transactions of authorized organizations. Article 47 further empowers the agency to: (i) request relevant authorities to make available all information required to monitor compliance of payment transactions with the law and other legal provisions; (ii) directly supervise authorized organizations and their organizational units or any other agent, third party processor, (iii) issue recommendations and guidelines, and obligatory orders, if necessary, (iv) temporarily suspend or revoke the authorized organization’s license to render services for internal payment transactions, if its operation does not comply with the Law and legal provisions of the agency, and (v) undertake measures and initiate procedures against authorized organizations in case of incompliance with provisions of this and other laws regulating payments and payment transactions.

22. FBA operates under a similar law with identical powers for the banking agency. The FBiH Payment Transaction Law of 2000 empowers the banking agency in the FBiH to issue licenses to authorized organizations within its jurisdiction to perform operations in internal payment transactions. A Draft Law on Internal Payment Systems, which is largely identical to RS, is under parliamentary consideration in the FBiH as of November 2014.

23. A separate agency maintains a central database of internal payment transactions. The Agency for Intermediary, Information Technology, and Financial Services (APIF) is empowered under the RS Law on Internal Payment Systems (Article 15) and the Law on Single Registry of Business Entities’ Accounts to maintain a single registry of accounts. Authorized organizations are required to deliver to the registry data on open and closed accounts of business entities, types of accounts, main accounts, and the blocking and unblocking accounts, on a continuous and immediate basis after the occurrence of such changes in the records of authorized organizations. Authorized organizations have electronic access to review and take over data kept in the database. The Draft FBiH Law on Internal Payment Systems (Article 9) also establishes that the Financial and Information Technology Agency Sarajevo to maintain a similar registry.

Entity Securities Commissions

24. Securities commissions in the entities regulate separately the central securities depositories and securities settlement systems in their jurisdictions. The Securities Commission of the RS regulates the CRS under the Law on Securities Market. The Regulation on the Clearing, Settlement, and Transfer of Securities came into force on February 2013. This was adopted as a rulebook for the CRS, covering: (i) instructions for payment to and use of the guarantee fund, (ii) procedures for processing the clearing, settlement, and transfer of securities, (iii) instructions on custody operations carried out in the CRS, and (iv) procedures for assigning the processing and deleting of registry code, and the opening and connecting of joint custody accounts. The Securities Commission of the FBiH regulates RVP clearing and settlement services under the Law on Securities Market and the Law on the Registrar of Securities. The RVP operates under the Rules of the RVP in the FBiH of 2009. Articles 18 to 24 of the rules contain specific provisions on clearing and settlement.

E. Past and Ongoing Reforms

25. The financial infrastructure was further improved with the adoption of an electronic interbank money market for commercial banks. This provides real-time capabilities for managing domestic currency deposits, foreign exchange, and cash operations. While use of the electronic platform among commercial banks is on a voluntary basis, it is mandatory for their connection with the central bank.

26. Legal reforms are ongoing. The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to adopt a new Law on Internal Payment Systems that will ensure the necessary flow of bank account information across entities, including the central bank. This is aimed at creating an environment that is more conducive to credit growth and economic activity. A largely identical law was adopted in the RS in 2012.

27. There are plans to shorten the settlement cycle for stock exchange trades to T+2. Such changes are expected at the BLSE in early 2015 and are under review for the SSE. Such reforms would help harmonize local practices with the EU Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR), which was adopted on April 15, 2014. This imposes a harmonized standard settlement date within the European Economic Area of two business days after the transaction date (T+2) for transferable securities, money market instruments, units in collective investment undertakings, and emission allowances. European markets that fall under the CSDR migrated from T+3 to T+2 with effect from October 6th, 2014.

Summary Assessment of the RTGS System

A. Observance of the Principles

General Organization (Principles 1-3)

28. The legal basis is relatively sound, but finality and netting arrangements require greater legal certainty and protection at the law level. The operations of the RTGS system as well as payment transfers through the system have a sound and a relatively solid legal basis. However, it cannot be ruled out that a transaction settled in the system can be revoked by a court order in the event of insolvency of a participant. Risk management such as loss sharing arrangements to manage participant defaults in the GCS, which is a deferred net settlement system, also appears to be lacking. According to international best practices, greater legal certainty could be achieved with the adoption of an explicit law on settlement finality to empower authorities to designate payment systems and fully protect finality and netting. 3 Elimination of “zero-hour rules” in insolvency law could also prevent the reversal of payments that appears to have been settled in a payment system.4 Further clarification on whether the written statement between the CBBH and RTGS participants acts as a contractual agreement and could be used for legal action, and under what law, would help create greater legal certainty.

29. Governance arrangements are clear, accountable, and transparent. However, monthly reporting appears to largely focus on payment flows, while risks analysis appears to be limited both in scope and depth. The analysis of potential risks, and progress in mitigating them, should be reported on a quarterly basis at the regular meetings of the Governing Board.

30. A comprehensive risk management framework is lacking. CBBH RTGS Operational Rules articulate risk mitigation measures on insufficient funds and contingency arrangements. However, there is no comprehensive risk management framework, which involves a formal identification of the various risks, risk mitigation measures, and ongoing monitoring.

Credit and liquidity risk management (Principles 4 and 7)

31. There is no credit risk as intraday or overnight credit by the central bank is not permitted under the currency board arrangement. All RTGS transaction accounts are prefunded by transfers from reserve account balances at the start of a business day. Outgoing payments with insufficient funds enter a queue until sufficient funds are received. Payment instructions are returned to the sender if funds have not been secured. As the CBBH does not provide intraday credit, use of collateral is not applicable in this institutional set-up.

32. Liquidity risk management is generally effective, but could be strengthened. Potential liquidity risk arises from the high concentration of transaction values in the payment systems across five banks. This includes two commercial banks that also act as settlement banks and have a large share of total transaction values. Liquidity risk may arise from settlement delays originating from the GCS, Bam Card, or settlement banks, which may hinder liquidity recycling by other participants. Liquidity risk may also arise from the default of the largest participant and its affiliates in the payment system. Each reserve maintenance period of 10 days, although effective, should be monitored closely on a daily basis to ensure that a commercial bank has sufficient liquidity in its reserve account for settlement purposes.

Settlement (Principles 8-9)

33. Legal uncertainty remains for settlement finality in the event of an insolvent participant. As mentioned, the operations of the RTGS system as well as payment transfers through the system have a sound and a relatively solid legal basis. However, it cannot be ruled out that a transaction settled in the system can be revoked by a court order in the event of insolvency of a participant.

34. Money settlements are based on central bank money.

Exchange-of-Value Settlement Systems (Principle 12)

35. The RTGS is not an exchange-of-value settlement system. It does not involve the settlement of two linked obligations, such as the delivery of securities against cash payments or securities, or the delivery of one currency against the delivery of another currency.

Default Management (Principle 13)

36. Participant-default rules and procedures are clearly defined and available to all participants. However, such rules and procedures need to be established, tested, and reviewed on a periodical basis.

General business and operational risks management (Principles 15 and 17)

37. The RTGS system is owned and operated by the CBBH, which is part of its mandate to ensure payment and settlement operations in normal situations and extreme financial circumstances. As the Law on the CBBH stipulates its role in promoting or establishing and maintaining appropriate payment and settlement systems, the CBBH’s ability to ensure continuity of the RTGS system as necessary in extreme financial circumstances means that the requirements to prepare recovery and orderly wind-down plans do not apply. Likewise, given the inherent financial soundness of the CBBH, the need to hold ring-fenced liquid assets funded by equity to cover business risks and the requirement to maintain a plan to raise additional equity do not apply. The CBBH is financially sound with net profits registered during 2011 to 2013.

38. Operational risk in payment systems is well managed, but a recovery time objective needs to be established to ensure operations resume within two hours following a disruptive event. The primary site is supported by a modern and well staffed secondary site located around 200 kilometers from the former, for which the latter acts as a disaster recovery site. The secondary site is tested regularly three times a year with participants with each test having duration of five days. However, the operational risk management framework and business continuity plan could be further improved by clearly establishing in writing the service availability and recovery time objectives. Such improvements would help ensure cyber resilience in critical infrastructures.5

Access (Principles 18-19)

39. Access and participation requirements are clear, publicly available, fair, and objective. Rules relating to suspension, termination, and exclusion are also defined in CBBH RTGS Operational Rules.

40. There are no tiered participation arrangements with only direct participation from commercial banks and the CBBH. For further clarification, it would be useful to establish in the CBBH RTGS Operational Rules that direct participation is only permitted for commercial banks and the CBBH with no tiered participation, and participants should be disclosed.

Efficiency (Principles 21-22)

41. Efficiency could be enhanced with fee schedule reviews and the setting of minimum service levels. The pricing policy is aimed at recovering cost, but fees have not been regularly revised to reflect costs while service level objectives appear to be lacking. The RTGS fee schedule has been revised once since its introduction in 2001 and was in support of time-zone pricing. Minimum service levels do not appear to have been clearly established to monitor efficiency and effectiveness.

42. The RTGS system is based on internationally accepted communication procedures and standards. SWIFT communication network and messages are used to transmit financial information. Within SWIFT, a CUG is formed where payments are made within the group in BIH.

Transparency (Principle 23)

43. RTGS rules and procedures are publicly disclosed, but would be more complete with the disclosure of relevant laws, regulations, instructions, decisions, and memorandum of understanding issued by the competent authorities. Testing and training should increase focus on the understanding of CBBH RTGS Operational Rules, relevant rules and procedures, and potential risks and mitigation measures.

Table 2.

Ratings Summary of RTGS System

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B. Recommendations for the RTGS System

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“Immediate” is within one year; “near –term” is 1-3 years; “medium-term” is 3-5 years.

Summary Assessment of Authorities’ Responsibilities

A. Observance of the Responsibilities

44. There are no clearly defined and publicly disclosed criteria to identify FMIs that should be subject to regulation, supervision, and oversight. The CBBH has plans to establish criteria after the completion of assessment of observance of the RTGS system and authorities’ responsibilities against the CPMI-IOSCO under the IMF-World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Program.

45. The Law of the CBBH clearly establishes its operational responsibilities, but does not provide sufficient powers for the oversight of payment systems. Operational responsibilities stated in the Law of the CBBH include: (i) promoting or establishing and maintaining appropriate payment and settlement systems; (ii) entering into international clearing and payment arrangements; and (iii) organizing facilities for the clearing and settlement of interbank payments. Powers to discharge oversight responsibilities for FMIs are not clearly established in the Law of the CBBH.

46. The Payment Systems Department’s resources are focused on carrying out operational duties and other ancillary services. Latter services are not directly related to inter-bank settlements such as maintaining the transaction registry and credit registry. Staff have not received adequate training on FMI oversight in the past two years, especially on the new CPMI-IOSCO PFMIs, which were released in April 2012. While the CBBH’s Chief Internal Auditor (including 10 staff where two are technology specialists) conducts audits of the payment system, this takes place every two years and is narrowly focused on information security issues. Similarly, the Risk Management Department (including 4 staff) focuses its efforts in managing financial risks in foreign currency reserves and to a lesser extent operational risk management, which it collates from different departments on a quarterly basis and reports to CBBH Management. The establishment of an internal working group to address oversight of payment systems was put on hold since 2007 as a result of potential conflicts of interest that may arise between operational and oversight duties being located within the same organizational unit. The decision to determine its appropriate location within the central bank in order to preserve the impartiality of self-assessment results and prevent conflicts of interest is therefore pending at the CBBH Governing Board. In sum, there has been agreement on the need to establish a new oversight unit, but organizational issues have not been resolved.7

47. The CBBH’s responsibilities in the payment system are disclosed through its Annual Report, Financial Stability Report, and website. However, there does not appear to be a coherent oversight policy document with respect to the RTGS system, which clearly describes its objectives, roles, and regulations.

48. The CBBH has not adopted the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures and apply them consistently. However, the CBBH has plans to do so after the completion of assessment of observance of the RTGS system and authorities’ responsibilities against the CPMI-IOSCO under the IMF-World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Program.

49. The CBBH and entity banking agencies cooperate on cross-cutting issues between the payment system and banking supervision under a memorandum of understanding. However, advanced notification and coordination between competent authorities on the planned closure of a problem bank and its consequential suspension from the payment system could be further improved to prevent the unwinding of payments following a court order. Although the CBBH and entity securities commissions have a common interest in promoting safe and efficient FMIs, there is no formal cooperation. Given the systemic importance of CSDs, there is a potential role for their cooperative oversight by the securities commissions and the CBBH.

Table 3.

Ratings Summary of Authorities’ Responsibilities

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B. Recommendations for Authorities

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“Immediate” is within one year; “near –term” is 1-3 years; “medium-term” is 3-5 years.

Detailed Assessment of the RTGS System

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Detailed Assessment of Authorities’ Responsibilities

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Authorities’ Response to the Assessment

50. All above mentioned (from A to E) depend on the way of oversight establishment. In the CBBH, since 2005, there has been a Commission for the Oversight of Payments Systems Operations, established by the Governing Board, with the task to elaborate the framework of the oversight in line with the policies and criteria for the FMI according to the “old” principles.

51. However, in 2012, new principles were released (23 instead of then 10).

52. Generally, the CBBH is decisive to arrange elaborately the functioning of all its operations via establishment of integrated internal controls system.

53. This is why the CBBH will publish the translation of new CPMI-IOSCO principles (23 principles) on its web site and work out the criteria for the identification of FMI that will be mandatory for all participants.

54. Therefore, the GB will decide which recommended variant of oversight is going to be optimal for the implementation in the CBBH and will publish it in format of enactments in the Official Gazettes of BH, RS and FBH, within the set deadline, adhering, in the same time, to the provisions of the CBBH Law.

55. In the meantime, the internal audit, beside the detailed provisions and policies regulating this area, assessed the oversight of payments systems as very important business process in the Risk Map and defined it as the priority in performing the internal auditing process.

56. Within its authority, the CBBH will observe all recommendations from the Assessment of Observance of the CPMI/IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures as per suggested deadlines.

57. The CBBH will regularly inform your team on implementation of each individual recommendation.

1

The assessor was Tanai Khiaonarong, Senior Financial Sector Expert from the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

2

Due to the particular legal, institutional, and structural characteristics of the RTGS system, 4 principles for payment systems were assessed as not applicable. Principle 4 (Credit risk), Principle 5 (Collateral), and Principle 16 (Custody and investment risks) are not applicable as the CBBH does not provide intraday credit or have collateral arrangements. Principle 12 (Exchange-of-value settlement systems) is excluded as no system features are available to settle two linked obligations, particularly for securities and foreign exchange transactions.

3

For example, see EU Settlement Finality Directive.

4

In the context of payment systems, “zero-hour rules” make all transactions by a bankrupt participant void from the start (“zero hour”) of the day of the bankruptcy (or similar event). In an RTGS system, for example, the effect could be to reverse payments that have apparently already been settled and were thought to be final. In a deferred net settlement system, such a rule could cause the netting of all transactions to be unwound. This could entail a recalculation of all net positions and could cause significant changes to participants’ balances.

5

CPMI (2014) Cyber Resilience in Financial Market Infrastructures, November.

6

See BCBS (2013) Monitoring Tools for Intraday Liquidity Management, April; Ball A, E Denbee, M Manning, and A Wetherlit (2011) Intraday Liquidity: Risk and Regulation, Financial Stability Paper No. 11, Bank of England, June.

7

See Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (2005) Central Bank Oversight of Payment and Settlement Systems, May, which establishes the effective principles for effective oversight and provides illustrations on the organization of the oversight function (pages 25 -26, paragraphs 114-118). Separation of oversight and operational duties can fall under three types, including: (i) institutional level; (ii) functional level (two functions are represented by different directors on the central bank’s governing board); and (iii) divisional level (two functions are represented by the same director on the governing board; there are separate divisions in the same department).

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Financial Sector Assessment Program-Detailed Assessment of Observance of the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures
Author: International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
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