Austrian banks are complaining that the eurozone stress test is biased against central and eastern Europe.
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Since taking office as governor of the National Bank of Moldova in 2009, Dorin Drăguţanu has implemented the country’s first inflation-targeting policy, has seen interest rates on loans and deposits decline and has welcomed amendments to the law on financial institutions. He speaks to The Banker about challenges surrounding transparency in the banking sector and economic implications of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The problems faced by Moldova's banking sector are not performance related, but instead are deeply rooted in a lack of transparency in banks’ shareholder structures. After opaque shareholder changes in the country's two largest banks in 2013, authorities are working on a resolution.
Little has changed at the top of the central and eastern European ranking, where Russian lenders still dominate, but sales and takeovers have caused a reshuffle further down the ranking.
The complicated geographical and political make-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina, combined with its struggling economy and low purchasing power, makes life difficult for its overcrowded banking market. However, hope is on the horizon as economic growth picks up and looming elections bring promise of a more investor-friendly financial system.
Between a floundering economy and volatile political situation, there is little room for optimism in Ukraine. But with new leaders hoping to tackle corruption and consolidate the fragmented banking sector, and with international funds earmarked to boost commercial lending, is the tide about to turn?
The ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of the Ukrainian republic of Crimea, which is currently occupied by Russian forces, has wreaked havoc in its financial sector, with many banks pulling out of the region and depositors unable to access their funds.
The Polish capital Warsaw was the leading destination in central and eastern Europe for financial services FDI, with Russian capital Moscow ranking a distant second.