Report notes the addendum signed between the World Bank and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, expanding FinSAC activities
WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 - The Vienna Center for Financial Sector Advisory Services (FinSAC) today released its second annual report detailing the work undertaken by the program.
The report notes the signing on December 6, 2013, of an addendum to the Administration Agreement between the Republic of Austria and the World Bank for the FinSAC Single-Donor Trust Fund. The addendum extends the closing date of the trust fund to 2017, expands additional activities to be carried out by FinSAC, and increases the amount of the initial EUR 5.2 million grant by an additional EUR 8 million.
FinSAC was established in late 2011 as a Vienna-based technical unit of the Financial & Private Sector Development Department of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region to deliver technical assistance to client countries in the region.
FinSAC’s mandate covers interventions in four distinct areas, namely (a) macro-financial stability, (b) micro-prudential regulation and supervision, (c) bank recovery and resolution, and (d) financial consumer protection and financial literacy.
The technical assistance delivered to countries in the region by FinSAC is complementary to the financial support provided by the World Bank. In its first two years of operation, FinSAC undertook 15 client assignments in ten ECA countries, held three major regional conferences, and carried out three research projects, enhancing the program’s outreach, impact, and influence in the region.
“FinSAC has proven to be an effective, results-focused advisory program, and has become a well-recognized regional ‘Center of Excellence’ for financial sector reform implementation,” said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. “As an example of its work on the ground, in Montenegro FinSAC worked with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Montenegro to help establish a new Law on Voluntary Financial Restructuring to facilitate the resolution of nonperforming loans (NPLs), and also advised four banks in preparing strategies to reduce their NPL portfolio over the next two years.”
In its second phase of operation, FinSAC will expand its operations and its regional coverage. Fernando Montes-Negret – former Director of the Finance & Private Sector Development Department of the World Bank and former Senior Financial Sector Expert of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – has been appointed as the new FinSAC Coordinator based in Vienna.
“The technical assistance offered by FinSAC is helping to restore financial sector stability in the countries of Europe and Central Asia,” said Harald Waiglein, Director General at the Ministry of Finance of Austria. “Unfortunately, this region was hit very hard by the financial crisis. The crisis is not over yet but a stable financial sector will be key to restore growth and attract investments.”
The World Bank appreciates the generous financial support provided by the Austrian Government, and the vote of confidence in the success of the second phase of FinSAC.