Governor Ismaili meets with Ambassador of Italy Antonello De Riu

12/02/2024

The Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Ahmet Ismaili, met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in the country, H. E. Antonello De Riu.

During the meeting, Governor Ismaili informed Ambassador De Riu and his colleagues about the ongoing developments in the country's financial system, the objectives of the CBK, and the Strategic Plan 2024-2028, including the plan for modernizing the payment system and the aim for membership in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) of the EU.

On this occasion, the Governor expressed the highest appreciation and consideration for Italy's support to Kosovo, with emphasis on the Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia), which, through various projects, has contributed to capacity building and the advancement of many processes within the CBK. He noted that the recent letter received from Mr. Panetta, the Governor of Banca d’Italia, concerning the potential support for Kosovo in the integration process, underscores the significance of this partnership for the CBK.

The Governor briefed the Ambassador on the Regulation for Cash Operations, explaining its main aspects, effects, and arguments regarding its position. Clarifications were provided to explain that the regulation enhances the integrity of the financial system and aligns Kosovo with EU standards.

In addressing concerns raised about its impacts on a specific community, it was explained that the regulation neither prohibits nor restricts the acceptance of funds into Euro-denominated bank accounts, nor does it limit currency exchange activities conducted by licensed financial institutions, whether bank or non-bank, regulated by the CBK.

In addition, it was announced 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 materials, by encouraging 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 with the CBK’s Regulation on Access to Payment Account with Basic Services, effective from January 1, 2024.

The CBK is actively and prudently engaged in facilitating proposed technical solutions that enable transparent and efficient transfer of funds through the financial system, based on best practices, contingent upon the willingness of the sending party.