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Banking System | External Banking Operations

External Banking Operations

Pursuant to the Decision on Conditions for Granting and Revoking Authorizations to Banks to Engage in External Transactions ("RS Official Gazette", No.5/2007), banks’ performance of external transactions is subject to a special authorization granted by the National Bank of Serbia.

It is important to note that compared to the earlier Decision on the Conditions for the Issuance of Authorization to Banks for Foreign Operations, as well as Conditions for Revoking Such Authorizations ("RS Official Gazette", No.76/2004), this Decision, that came into force on 19 January 2007, liberalizes the conditions for obtaining authorization to engage in external transactions in that it does not envisage the obligation for banks to keep minimum EUR 6 million or its equivalent in another convertible currency on their foreign currency accounts.

Pursuant to the new Decision, banks that have already been granted the NBS authorization to engage in external transactions, may freely dispose of the above amount of foreign exchange funds on their accounts abroad, implying that they are not obligated to submit electronically "Monthly Reports on Foreign Currency Account Balances" to the National Bank of Serbia, which used to be considered a proof of meeting one of the prescribed conditions.

The Decision also stipulates that banks that have obtained authorization to engage in external transactions are obligated to maintain the level of liquidity in compliance with regulations governing risk management. Non-compliance with this condition shall be understood as grounds for revoking the authorization.

A bank shall be granted an authorization to engage in external transactions provided that it meets the following conditions:

  • it has been granted an operating license by the National Bank of Serbia and entered into the register of business entities (relevant decisions should be submitted in support of the application for authorization to engage in external transactions); 
  • its technical and organizational capacities ensure efficient performance of external transactions in compliance with international standards, which must be fully described in writing and appropriately documented; 
  • staff in the bank’s organizational units in charge of handling external transactions are qualified for their performance, which also must be fully described in writing and appropriately documented.

A bank that has obtained authorization to engage in external transactions shall be obligated to:

  • establish a network of correspondent relations and open current accounts with foreign banks within 90 days from the date of issuance of authorization to engage in external transactions;
  • inform the National Bank of Serbia of its accounts opened abroad – within 15 days from the date of opening such accounts;
  • perform external transactions’ related obligations in the country and abroad with due diligence and in a timely manner and to adhere to international rules and customs and domestic regulations;
  • maintain the level of liquidity in compliance with regulations governing risk management;
  • settle obligations towards the National Bank of Serbia with due diligence and in a timely manner as well as obligations towards other banks in the country.

The National Bank of Serbia reserves the right to revoke the authorization to a bank in the event of non-compliance with conditions prescribed by the Decision.

Related Topics...
List of Banks Authorized for Performing International Operations