05 Oct 2015

NBS Adopts Changes to the Single Register of Accounts

On October 1, 2015, the new Payment Services Act came into force.  This new piece of legislation introduced numerous and rather important changes to the Serbian payment operations system.  These changes are also a part of Serbia’s harmonization with European Union laws and business practices, which presumes liberalization of payment services provision and widening of authorized service providers in this field, other than the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) and licensed banks, will have a significant positive impact on the market efficiency.

One of the most significant changes in this sense introduced in the Payment Services Act relates to the formation of a unified database that will contain bank account details of natural persons – consumers of finance services.  This database will be available in collection enforcement procedure against those consumers.  Lack of such unified register has thus far has been one of the causes of inefficiency of enforcement procedures against natural persons, as data on the bank accounts they have opened could have been obtained only in direct communication with one of thirty banks operating in Serbia, in addition to other practical problems.

Prior to the new Payment Services Act, NBS has already kept the Single Register of Accounts for legal entities and entrepreneurs.  Data from this register has been and will continue to be available to any interested party via NBS official web portal service.  However, in light and on the basis of the new Payment Services Act, in June 2015 NBS issued a new Decision on Closer Conditions and Manner for Keeping of Single Register of Accounts, based on which NBS will collect from banks all the data on bank accounts of natural person i.e. consumers that are clients of commercial bank.

Data on bank account of natural persons will not however be publicly available, as they are to be considered business secret.  They will, in accordance with the explicit provisions of the Payment Services Act, be available only upon request to one of the authorized bodies, in one of the prescribed situations.  One such situation is a request of the authorized (private or court) enforcement administrator.

In practical terms, this should, to a large extent, be convenient in their work as it will enable them to obtain data on all bank accounts held by enforcement debtors directly from the NBS through a brief and straightforward procedure.  Certainly, register will also be helpful to other bodies including tax authorities, ministry of interior and others.