Press Release regarding Corona virus
Date: 18 March, 2020
SUBJECT: Press Release
Information for the public regarding the situation caused by the outbreak of "COVID-19"
In relation to the extraordinary circumstances arising from the outbreak of the "corona virus" and the numerous questions raised regarding the operations of banks and the provision of services to the clients in Republika Srpska, the Banking Agency of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: Agency) informs the public that the Republika Srpska banking sector is safe and stable, with adequate liquidity and good capitalization.
The regulatory framework for bank operations in Republika Srpska is largely aligned with the European framework, and in some segments it is significantly more conservative, especially in the capital and liquidity segment. The capital adequacy ratio of the banking sector of Republika Srpska is higher than 18%, which is well above the statutory minimum (12%), and that gives the possibility of absorbing a higher level of risk to which the sector could be exposed in crisis situations and provides key assumptions for business continuity. A high level of cash funds of the banking sector of Republika Srpska in the amount of KM 1.8 billion ensures good current liquidity and provides good potential for managing liquidity over a long period, including extraordinary situations.
Taking into account the above stated facts, we inform the public that, regardless of the new circumstances, the banks will continue to provide services to their clients, subject to certain restrictions due to the implementation of recommendations issued by the competent authorities and institutions to prevent the spread of the virus. This primarily refers to the hygiene and technical measures that the banks are obliged to implement, which includes certain restrictions in terms of the retention and movement of clients in the banks’ premises.
For this reason, and as part of the implementation of general measures recommended by the competent institutions for the protection of citizens' health, we recommend that the banks’ clients use electronic channels as payment methods to the greatest extent possible, avoiding the use of cash and unnecessary retention in the banks’ premises.
The Agency shall, in accordance with its legal powers and in cooperation with banks, competent authorities and institutions, undertake measures to preserve the stability and safety of the banking system of Republika Srpska.
Banking Agency of Republika Srpska