15 Aug 2022

NBS – New Measures to Curb Inflation

As we discussed last week, the National Bank of Serbia (“NBS”) decided to hike the interest rate to 3%.

In addition to this decision, several other measures were introduced aimed at reducing the growing inflationary pressures affecting the economy of Serbia.  One of the measures is the decision that all banks that have increased their fees for payment services since January 1, 2021, will reduce those fees by 30% starting September 1 or reduce these fees prior levels.  According to the NBS, the aggregate benefit of this measure to individual clients will amount to 7 billion dinars.

In addition, NBS introduced a current account with basic services.  This decision caps the monthly maintenance fee for an account which includes basic services to 150 dinars and it specifies the services it entails.  As stated in the official statement of the NBS, “individuals who opt for the specified basic package of services will have the opportunity to open a RSD account in the bank, to withdraw cash for free-of-charge at branches and ATMs of their bank, to use a free debit card, mobile and electronic banking that enables an unlimited number of transactions via QR code at points of sale. At banks that charge fees for electronic or mobile banking payments, these clients will have a discount of 30% compared to the lowest fee paid by clients using other service packages. In addition, they will be able to upgrade to an additional service such as a credit card, foreign currency account, overdraft or checks, without having to switch to a more expensive package, and the fee will be limited so that it does not exceed the fees of a higher service level package. All individual clients may switch to this package depending on their needs and will have the opportunity to upgrade it with an additional service.”

The Executive Board of the NBS also adopted a Decision on amending the Decision on bank risk management.  This decision will enable NBS to be notified in a timely manner of the planned changes to the banks’ tariff list, meaning it will be able to adequately monitor compliance with these decisions.

Although they are free to determine the price of their products themselves, the current situation around the globe when it comes to financial markets has indicated the need for commercial banks to participate in the preservation of financial markets and the living standards of their clients.

As highlighted by the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia, Jorgovanka Tabaković, all banks in Serbia have agreed to this.