Western banks join in international support for Bosnia-Herzegovina

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

The parent banks of the six largest foreign banks incorporated in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) have pledged their continued engagement in the country as their part in the international efforts to stabilize BiH’s banking sector and ensure confidence in the economy.

Following a coordination meeting held in Vienna today, Raiffeisen International, Hypo Alpe-Adria, UniCredit Bank Austria AG, Intesa SanPaolo, Volksbank International and the NLB Group pledged to maintain their overall exposure to the country and ensure prudent capitalization of their subsidiaries in the context of a new IMF programme agreed recently at staff level. The announcement follows similar undertakings by large bank groups operating in Romania, Serbia, and Hungary.

The European bank coordination meeting for Bosnia-Herzegovina was chaired by the IMF. The EBRD, European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and the ECB attended the meeting, along with Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, members of the Fiscal Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Banking Agencies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as home country banking supervisors and/or ministries of finance (Austria, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia).

The commitments by the banks will help the country’s banking system weather the current crisis, strengthen investor confidence and return the economy to a sustainable growth path.

For its part, the EBRD has said it plans to invest up to €250 million in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2009. Out for the total sum, around €100 million will be earmarked for the financial sector. The EBRD is part of a joint pledge under the International Financial Instituions Action Plan by the EBRD, the World Bank Group and the EIB to provide €24.5 billion in support of the banking sectors in the region and lending to the real economy.