Since 2008, it has become clear that weaknesses in corporate governance, including inadequate oversight by the board in a number of banks, together with loose supervision from regulators, have contributed to excessive and imprudent risk-taking in the banking sector which has led in turn to the failure of individual banks and systemic problems. This is particularly critical for Tajikistan, as the financial sector is dominated by banks and microfinance institutions.
It is proposed to initiate a technical cooperation project (the “Project”), to assist the National Bank of Tajikistan (the “NBT”), in its efforts to strengthen corporate governance of financial institutions in Tajikistan, by providing technical assistance in order to:
(i) undertake a review of the corporate governance legislation and practices of financial institutions and develop an action plan, indicating key actions to be undertaken to improve the legislative framework, the supervisory processes and the practices of financial institutions (Phase 1); and
(ii) assist the NBT with the implementation of the Action Plan, aimed at improving the legislative framework, the supervisory processes and the practices of financial institutions in Tajikistan (Phase 2) .
Phase 1 has now completed. The review carried out during Phase 1 culminated in a comprehensive analysis of the existing corporate governance framework and practices at financial institutions in Tajikistan, benchmarked against the best regional and international corporate governance practices for financial institutions (the “Report”). The findings of the Report were the basis for the development of an action plan, which included key actions to be undertaken by the NBT in order to improve the legislative framework, the supervisory processes and the practices of financial institutions (“Action Plan”).
The Action Plan includes – among others:
- amendments to the Banking Law (items 1-5 of the Action Plan);
- addressing discrepancies between different laws regulating corporate governance of banks (item 6 of the Action Plan);
- review of the Corporate Governance Principles, to include further guidance on certain areas and to clarify which provisions are mandatory and which are recommendations (item 7 of the Action Plan);
- amendments to the Regulation No. 181 “On Requirements to Risk Management System and Internal Control in Credit Organisations” (the “NBT Regulation No. 181”) in order to clearly define some key areas of the internal control framework of banks (item 8 of the Action Plan);
- development of a supervision methodology for corporate governance of banks to be adopted by the NBT and formalised in a Supervision Manual guiding the monitoring and inspection practices (item 9 of the Action Plan) and assist in its implementation; and
- development and delivery of a corporate governance training programme for the NBT and banks (item 10 of the Action Plan).
Both the Report and the Action Plan were presented and discussed with the NBT and other relevant stakeholders in Tajikistan and were very well received. On 27 December 2017 – through an official letter addressed to the EBRD – the NBT First Deputy Chairman asked the EBRD to continue providing assistance to the NBT for the implementation of the specific actions highlighted in the Action Plan.
It is against this backdrop that the Team now proposes to initiate Phase 2 of the project and assist the NBT with – what is probably the most crucial element of reform – the implementation of the Action Plan itself.
In order to achieve the objective of the Project, a consulting firm with extensive experience in corporate governance of financial institutions and supervisory practices (the “Consultant”) will be retained.
The Project will be structured in two Phases and the Consultant shall work with the EBRD and NBT to carry out the tasks set forth below:
Phase 1: Review and Definition of an Action Plan
a. Review the relevant legislation related to corporate governance of financial institutions in Tajikistan and benchmark it with best practices, identifying weaknesses and proposing recommendations on how to tackle them.
b. Review the corporate governance practices in place at selected financial institutions in the country, through review of relevant corporate documentation, disclosure by financial institutions and interviews with key function holders.
c. Review the NBT’s organisational structure and modus operandi, with reference to corporate governance monitoring and enforcement.
d. Draft a report drawing from all the reviews above mentioned and articulating the key actions that are considered necessary to tackle each action, with clear indications of the risks that the current practices are posing (the “Report”).
e. Present and discuss the Report with the EBRD, the NBT and other stakeholders (in particular the IMF), and incorporate all comments.
f. On the basis of the Report, prepare an action plan to be implemented by the NBT in order to improve the existing legal framework and the National Bank supervisory capacity (the “Action Plan”).
Phase 2: Action Plan Implementation
a. Prepare the draft legislative amendments to the Banking Law and other relevant legislation to address the issues highlighted in the Report and the recommendations included in the Action Plan and assist and support NBT in the adoption procedure
b. Prepare the draft amendments/supplements to the existing NBT implementing regulations and documents
c. Draft an NBT Supervisory Manual (“Supervisory Manual”) to guide the monitoring and inspection practices and define a method for categorising the areas of investigation
d. Design and deliver a training program for the NBT supervision officers as well as financial institutions in Tajikistan in the area of corporate governance
e. Participate in market outreach activities to ensure transparent consultation between all stakeholders (including banks and MDOs) on guidelines, their implementation and supervisory practices
f. Assist the NBT or other authority in submitting legislative proposals to the competent authority and provide support during the regulation adoption process by preparing answers, explanations, supporting notes, comparative analyses etc
g. Assist the NBT in the implementation of the Supervisory Manual
h. Undertake other specific tasks related to the above as required by the NBT or the EBRD
Any competitive selections for business opportunities relating to this project will be published on the EBRD's website: Consultancy Procurement Opportunities.
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