The Regulation on the inclusion of all citizens in the financial market comes into force

01/08/2023

The Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, on 20 December 2022, has approved the Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services which comes into force on 1 August 2023, with the exception of Article 5, paragraph 4, which comes into force on 1 January 2024.
The Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services aims to determine the conditions for consumer access to payment accounts with basic services.
The purpose of the CBK, through this Regulation, is to enable all citizens to receive the benefits that the financial market brings, to contribute to the increase of financial inclusion, as well as to encourage the participation of all citizens in the financial sector.
The Regulation was drafted with the aim of harmonizing CBK legislation with EU directives, in this case with EU Directive 2014/92/EU.
The Regulation enables all citizens of Kosovo, regardless of their financial circumstances, employment status or income level, to have access to a payment account with basic services.
The Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services applies to all banks and branches of foreign banks licensed by the CBK, operating in the Republic of Kosovo. All banks operating in Kosovo will provide you access to payment accounts with basic services for all citizens of Kosovo.
The payment account with basic services includes at least the following services:

  1. services that enable all operations required for opening, operating and closing a payment account;
  2. services that enable the deposit of funds in payment accounts, as defined in annex 1 of the Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services;
  3. services that allow withdrawal of money from the payment account, as defined in annex 1 of the Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services.
  4. Execution of the following payment transactions:
    4.1. direct debit;
    4.2. payment transactions through a card, including online payments;
    4.3. credit transfers within the bank, including automatic orders, where possible at ATMs, and at bank counters or through online platforms;

The Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services defines the following:

  • conditions for accessing payment accounts with basic services,
  • characteristics of payment accounts with basic services,
  • fees related to the provision of a payment account with basic services,
  • the group of vulnerable consumers who benefit from the services offered by the payment account with basic services free of charge
  • the obligation of banks to inform customers regarding the provision of payment accounts with basic services, as well as
  • how to convert current accounts into payment accounts with basic services.

The Regulation also stipulates that banks will provide the services defined in Article 4, paragraph 1, of this Regulation free of charge or with a reasonable monthly fee, if they foresee this fee in their internal policies for determining fees.
The reasonable value of the compensation according to paragraph 1 of this Article cannot be higher than 0.12% of the value of the average net monthly salary in the Republic of Kosovo (or €0.53), recently published by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics. This value will change, based on the last annual data published by KAS.
In addition, banks offer all the services provided for in Article 4, paragraph 1 of this Regulation, free of charge, for categories of consumers belonging to the group of vulnerable consumers, who benefit from the rights provided by the legislation that regulates pensions and social assistance in the Republic of Kosovo, confirmed by the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers (or the successor ministry).
According to Article 5, paragraph 4, of the Regulation, which enters into force on 1 January 2024, groups of vulnerable consumers are considered groups that benefit from:

  1. Pensions:
    • Basic pension;
    • Contributory pension;
    • Pension for persons with disabilities - children;
    • Pension for persons with paraplegic and tetraplegic disabilities;
    • Pension for persons with disabilities - children; Early pensions for workers of Trepça complex;
    • Pensions for KPC members; Pensions for the KSF security force;
    • Compensation for the blind;
    • Family pension;
    • Work disability pensions;
    • Pension of martyrs' families;
    • Pension of war invalids;
    • Pension of civilian victims;
    • Pension of civil invalids;
    • Pension of the missing of the war;
    • Pension of fighter veteran of KLA;
  2. Social assistance;

Other vulnerable groups that may be provided for by legislation in the Republic of Kosovo; confirmed by the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers.

Also, the decision of the Commercial Court, which in the decision of 24 July 2023 rejected as unfounded the request of the banks to postpone the execution of the new CBK regulation, obliges banks to open payment accounts with basic services for citizens of Kosovo starting on 1 August 2023. In this case, the Commercial Court has given the right to the CBK for the previously approved relevant Regulation which, upon entry into force, will be in function of increasing financial inclusion, and in the benefit of involving consumers themselves in these services at lower costs for all citizens of Kosovo.
For more detailed information regarding the Regulation on access to payment accounts with basic services, information can be found on the CBK website:
Regulation on access to payment account with basic services