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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Montenegro’s Central Bank: Achievements, challenges and future directions

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro, Irena Radović, has received positive feedback from the IMF and the World Bank regarding the country’s financial stability. She emphasized that Montenegro’s banking system is solid, solvent, well-capitalized, and highly resilient. Over recent months, significant efforts have been made to consolidate fiscal policies, leading to a substantial decrease in public debt from 105% of GDP to just above 60%.

Speaking on the “Okvir” show, Radović highlighted Montenegro’s recognition by the IMF for swiftly aligning its banking regulations with those of the EU. However, she clarified that discussions regarding the Europe Now 2 program with international institutions did not occur. Instead, the focus has been on fiscal sustainability and the development of a medium-term fiscal strategy, with close collaboration between the Minister of Finance and the IMF.

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While emphasizing the goal of improving citizens’ living standards, Radović stressed the importance of maintaining fiscal stability and adhering to international recommendations.

Regarding her nomination for the position of Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council, a prestigious role within the European Union, Radović explained that she was asked by senior state officials, including the Prime Minister, to represent Montenegro. The decision was based on the belief that her background would enhance Montenegro’s chances of success. Radović expressed gratitude for the opportunity and clarified that the nomination does not guarantee selection, as several candidates, including EU representatives and commissioners, are under consideration.

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Radović also addressed the stability and resilience of Montenegro’s banking sector, noting that liquidity, bank capital, and deposits are at historical highs. Loans to both businesses and individuals have increased, with special offers introduced to lower interest rates for citizens.

Regarding concerns about high loan processing fees, Radović stated that the Central Bank has urged banks to adjust fees to reflect actual costs and has given them a 30-day deadline for compliance.

Finally, Radović addressed criticisms of her predecessor’s tenure, emphasizing the Central Bank’s efforts to eliminate nepotism, introduce clear procedures, and ensure fair treatment of all banks. She also discussed efforts to retain skilled personnel within the Central Bank and support their professional development.

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