Governor Ismaili meets with Ambassador of Austria, Georg Schnetzer

21/02/2024

The Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Ahmet Ismaili, along with his colleagues, welcomed the Ambassador of Austria to the country, H. E. Mr. Georg Schnetzer, accompanied by Deputy Head of Mission, Ms. Clarissa Castek.

Governor Ismaili informed Ambassador Schnetzer and his colleague regarding the initiatives for the advancement of the financial system, the plan for modernizing the payment system and the aim for membership in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) of the EU.

During the meeting, it was discussed about the support that Austria is providing to the Republic of Kosovo in the integration processes, including aspects related to the Green Card System, as well as the ISO Code in relation to the global payments platform, and other processes of particular importance to our country.

On this occasion, the Governor of the CBK expressed gratitude to the ambassador for the continuous support of his government and the Austrian people for Kosovo's institutions and its people.

In addition, the meeting discussed the advancement of the regulatory and legal framework, including the Banking Law, Payment Services Law, and other legislation aimed at aligning with EU directives. Discussions also covered the actions taken against counterfeit money, as well as other plans for strengthening the integrity of the financial system, in compliance with best international practices.

Ambassador Schnetzer was briefed on the Regulation for Cash Operations, its main aspects, effects, and arguments regarding its position. It was clarified that the Regulation advances the integrity of the financial system and aligns the Republic of Kosovo with EU standards, and it does not prohibit or limit the acceptance of funds into Euro-denominated bank accounts, nor does it restrict foreign exchange activities carried out by financial institutions, whether banking or non-banking, licensed by the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo.

In this regard, the Austrian Ambassador was also informed about the CBK's Plan for the implementation of this Regulation in practice, as well as the actions to ease its effects, in addition to the CBK’s constructive commitment to facilitate the transfer of funds according to the proposed model and the readiness to discuss possible legal options.

At the end of the meeting, it was emphasized that the CBK is actively continuing its information and awareness-raising activities, including the launch of the toll-free line dedicated to our citizens and other informative information materials, by encouraging those citizens who do not have an account to open one at any bank, whereas vulnerable groups are exempt from account opening and maintenance fees, in alignment that does not charge opening or maintenance fees for vulnerable groups, with the CBK’s Regulation on Access to Payment Accounts for with Basic Services, effective from January 1, 2024.