18 Οκτωβρίου 2019
InterBallkan Forum of Banking Associations
Athens, Greece, October 16, 2019: The Secretary Generals of Banking Associations in Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia have come together today with a view to strengthening the relations among the Bank Associations in the Balkans.
The common belief of all participants is that today’s meeting has laid the base for stronger ties between the vibrant banking communities of the Balkans region.
“Banks in our countries are increasingly engaged in a highly competitive environment for financial services, both at home and abroad. We face many mutual challenges and by coming together we have begun to forge understandings that can be important both for our business interests and for growing commercial and financial ties between us” said Ms. Charoula Apalagaki, Secretary General of the Hellenic Bank Association, who hosted the meeting.
The main themes that have been decided to be a common priority for members are:
- The reputation of the banking system, with emphasis on highlighting corporate social responsibility and financial literacy actions.
- Financing growth & sustainable finance (e.g. the green bond standard and the adoption of UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) concerning the Principles for Responsible Banking).
- Cybersecurity & Innovation as key elements of the Digital Transformation of banks.
The InterBalkan Forum of Banking Associations’ Meetings were decided twice a year in March and October, on a rotation basis.
Secretary Generals and leading executives from the following bank associations participated in today’s meeting:
1. Mr. Spiro Brumbulli, Secretary General, Albanian Association of Banks.
2. Mr. Michael Kammas, Director General, Association of Cyprus Banks.
3. Ms. Charoula Apalagaki, Secretary General, Hellenic Bank Association.
4. Mr. Vassilis Panagiotidis, Director, Hellenic Bank Association.
5. Mr. Petrit Balija, Chief Executive Officer, Kosovo* Banking Association.
6. Mr. Kreshnik Kosumi, Senior Operations Officer, Kosovo* Banking Association.
7. Mr. Bratislav Pejakovic, Secretary General, Association of Montenegrin Banks.
8. Ms. Milena Perchinkova, Executive Secretary, North Macedonian Banking Association Skopje.
9. Mr. Vladimir Vasic, Secretary General, Association of Serbian Banks.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999, and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.