The National Bank of Moldova had a professional and quick reaction in 2022, in order to keep inflation risks in the business environment under control. The commercial banks, which followed the recommendations of the Central Bank, reacted just as professionally. As a result, the stability of funding was maintained. The assessment was made, in an interview for bani.md, by the president of the Moldindconbank Council, Herbert Stepic, one of the most notorious banking experts in Central and Eastern Europe.
According to the specialist, despite the numerous challenges for the economy, the main topic in 2022 was the high inflation rate, which required a quick reaction. Among the measures undertaken by the National Bank is the increase of the mandatory reserve norm from the means attracted in national currency up to 40% and up to 45% in foreign currency.
“This was a huge move for the market, with a lot of consequences, of course. The important measures that were taken were aimed at withdrawing liquidity from the market, and from the banking sector. Automatically, they led to a decrease in lending compared to previous years. And we are talking here about two measures – on the one hand the reserve requirement ratio and on the other hand – the capital adequacy ratio. Respectively, through these two measures, the volume of liquidity was reduced, which had the effect of success in the fight against inflation, which started to decrease, starting from December last year. Inflationary measures are tempering. So, I have to emphasize that the central bank reacted quickly and to the point”, argued the banker’s position.
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According to him, the banks’ reaction was also professional. They followed the recommendations of the Central Bank, reduced lending activities, and invested in government securities, so to speak – they helped the Government withdraw liquidity from the market, which had very positive consequences for the banking sector. The expert believes that thanks to these actions, the financial stability of the country has been maintained.
Dr. Herbert Stepic is nicknamed by the press and the banking community as “a trailblazer for investors in the Central and Eastern European region” because he was responsible for the international expansion of today’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). He held the position of Director General of the RBI until 2013 and was the promoter of its expansion into one of the largest banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe, having in its composition several banks and branches in 13 countries in the region.