Moratorium on Debt Payments

In view of the need to preserve and further strengthen financial system stability amid potential risks caused by the emergency health situation in the country, at the extraordinary session of its Executive Board, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) adopted decisions imposing a moratorium on debt payments:

  • Decision on Temporary Measures for Preserving Financial System Stability and
  • Decision on Temporary Measures for Lessors Aimed at Preserving Financial System Stability. 

Regarding the newly adopted measures, Governor Tabaković said the following: “Financial stability is necessary in ordinary and even more so in extraordinary circumstances. In coordination with other state authorities, the NBS takes and will continue to take all the necessary measures to safeguard stability and to facilitate the position of Serbian citizens and businesses in these extraordinary circumstances. It is critical that all market participants be aware of the need to act responsibly in these sensitive moments so that we can overcome potential difficulties.“

The moratorium is envisaged for all debtors who wish to apply it (natural persons, farmers and entrepreneurs, corporates) and implies a suspension of debt payments for at least 90 days, i.e. for the duration of the emergency state declared due to the pandemic. During the said period, debtors will be relieved of the repayment of their obligations under loan and lease agreements. However, even when these measures start to apply, borrowers and lessees will in no way be prevented from meeting their obligations on time. 

For the duration of the emergency state, banks and lessors will not charge any default interest on past due outstanding receivables and will not initiate enforcement or enforced collection procedures, or take other legal actions to collect receivables from their clients. Also, banks and lessors will not be able to charge any fees in relation to the application of the adopted regulations.

To provide transparent and unambiguous information to their clients, in accordance with the above regulations, banks and lessors shall publish a notification on the offered moratorium on their websites, and it will be considered that all borrowers and lessees have been duly informed about it. If the clients do not refuse the offer within ten days after the said notification, it will be considered that they have accepted the moratorium, without any obligation to appear on bank premises. Upon the expiration of this deadline, the moratorium will start to produce legal effect, though debtors will be able to repay their obligations if they wish to do so.
The measures have been carefully calibrated, in view of the need to help overcome the negative effects on citizens and businesses amid a realistic possibility in the given circumstances that borrowers and lessors might face difficulties in debt repayment.
The NBS keeps a close eye on the financial sector, the emergency state being no exception. In line with this, it will supervise the implementation of the new regulations and carefully analyse their effects.

Governor’s Office