HANFA and HNB, with their German and Dutch partners, successfully complete twinning project in Montenegro

Published: 7 July 2020

A formal conference held in Podgorica, Montenegro, on 7 July 2020 marked the successful completion of the twinning project whose goal was to provide support to Montenegrin financial services supervisory institutions and which was carried out by experts from the central banks of Croatia, Germany and the Netherlands (Croatian National Bank, Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany, Central Bank of the Netherlands (DNB)) and experts from financial services supervisory agencies from Croatia and Germany (HANFA and BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority)).

The project called “Support to Regulation of Financial Services” provided technical assistance by EU Member States to Montenegrin financial services regulators – Securities and Exchange Commission of Montenegro, Insurance Supervision Agency of Montenegro and Central Bank of Montenegro. It was funded by the EU with EUR 1.41 million and lasted from April 2018 to July 2020, having achieved all its goals, including the realisation of all project activities.

“I believe that the experience and knowledge shared by 25 HANFA experts who participated in this project have contributed to the strengthening of Montenegrin institutions and that we have helped them prepare for the EU membership as thoroughly as possible. I am confident that this is a good way of connecting experts from candidate countries for EU membership with EU Member States experts, as it enables us to offer them valuable assistance in meeting the conditions for closing negotiating chapters by sharing our knowledge and experience. The EU regulatory framework is undergoing constant changes and improvement processes, which poses a challenge to Montenegrin financial services supervisory institutions regarding the preparation of a regulatory framework adequate for their market, and at the same time aligned with the EU legislation. Therefore, I firmly believe that this successful international cooperation with our Montenegrin, but also German and Dutch partners, will continue even after the completion of this project”, said Ante Žigman, the president of HANFA Board, during the final conference.

The goal of the project was to ensure the stability, sustainability and effectiveness of financial services in Montenegro, for the purpose of supporting the development of the private sector and increasing the competitiveness of the overall economy. Its realisation enabled the alignment of the Montenegrin legislation with the acquis communautaire with respect to financial services and it strengthened the regulatory and supervisory capacity of the Montenegrin institutions.

The project was divided into three components: A – banking, B – insurance, C – capital market. HANFA’s participation was related to the activities carried out within the component B – insurance, where it cooperated with BaFin and DNB, and to the activities carried out within the component C – capital markets, where it cooperated with BaFin. HANFA’s activities relating to the insurance sector covered the transposition of the Solvency II Directive into the Montenegrin Insurance Act, reporting system of supervised entities and on-site and off-site supervision of the insurance market. As regards the capital market, the focus was placed on the preparation of the Act on Open-Ended Investment Funds with Public Offering, amendments to the Voluntary Pension Funds Act and ordinances governing capital market infrastructure, investment firms and prospectuses, and on the sharing of knowledge and practical experiences from supervisory procedures, involving the transparency of securities issuers.      

The project also involved study visits by Montenegrin experts to HANFA, followed by their visits to the Zagreb Stock Exchange, Croatian Chamber of Economy, Croatian Insurance Bureau, Croatian Actuarial Association and Croatian Competition Agency, and their meetings with representatives of insurance companies and investment fund management companies. This provided one more opportunity to share experiences regarding activities governed by the EU regulatory framework.

During their visit to Podgorica, paid for the purpose of marking the successful conclusion of the twinning project, Ante Žigman, the president of HANFA Board, and Tomislav Ridzak, HANFA Board member, also held bilateral meetings with Uroš Andrijašević, the president of the Council of the Insurance Supervision Agency of Montenegro, and Zoran Đikanović, the president of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Montenegro. The emphasis of the meetings was laid on topics regarding the successful cooperation established during the project and the wish of HANFA and the Montenegrin institutions to continue developing their cooperation in the future.