Financial Sector Advisory Center

The Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC), based in Vienna, provides independent, confidential, and tailored expertise, technical advice, and implementation support to client countries in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region.

FinSAC offers global knowledge to help develop and disseminate good practices that can enrich regional policy debates and cross-fertilize reforms. It promotes the application of international benchmarks and standards with the support of global and regional organizations.

FinSAC organizes its specialist technical assistance within the following three distinct thematic pillars, which cover macro and microprudential themes and issues related to bank failure. 

FinSAC’s thematic pillars:

Pillar I - Financial Stability, Macroprudential Frameworks, and Crisis Preparedness

Pillar II - Microprudential Regulatory and Supervisory Frameworks

Pillar III - Bank Recovery and Resolution

Cross-cutting theme of climate-related risks to financial stability

In addition to dedicated work streams within each of the pillars, FinSAC’s range of expertise is usefully combined to offer client countries integrated advice and technical assistance across the pillars.

FinSAC engages in technical work that helps countries implement concrete legislative, regulatory, and institution-building initiatives that strengthen the resilience and efficiency of financial systems. 

FinSAC provides advisory and analytical services through three distinct channels:

  • undertaking of client-specific technical assistance assignments;
  • organization of technical workshops, conferences, and seminars, and
  • execution of regional research projects with corresponding outreach activities. 

FinSAC works with client countries in the Europe and Central Asia region:

  • European Union (EU) candidate and potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine)
  • EU neighborhood countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan)
  • and some expansion into Central Asian countries with the agreement of the Donor (Uzbekistan).

FinSAC was established in June 2011 as a follow-up mechanism of the Vienna Initiative, through joint collaboration of the Austrian Ministry of Finance and the World Bank’s Private and Financial Sector Department. FinSAC is financed by the Austrian Government through a Trust Fund Agreement.

For more information, please contact Vahe Vardanyan

News & Events
  • Getting the financial sector reform priorities right

    International Conference
    May 22-23, 2024: We will discuss the state of play of the regulatory and supervisory frameworks in ECA region, focusing on issues like SREP implementation, Pillar 2 capital requirements or regulatory approaches to emerging risks, such as interest rate risk in the banking book. For credit risk assessment the collateral valuation remains to be a key factor which we plan to discuss during the conference considering the context of negative tendencies in some real estate markets. Building upon experience of recent bank failures in US and Europe, we will explore the issue of deposit behaviors and the liquidity risks faced by deposit insurers during financial turmoil, while elaborating on challenges that authorities face during operationalization of a BRRD aligned resolution frameworks and the effects of the proposed CMDI reform on FinSAC client countries. Lastly, we will continue discussions on climate related risks covering both the financial stability and supervisory aspects of those risks and prioritizing the authorities’ actions in client countries for next years.
  • Renewed supervisory challenges in light of tightened financial conditions and economic slowdown

    May 9-10, 2023: We discussed how the banking systems in ECA region were able to weather new shocks stemming from the war and high interest rate environment, with yet no significant rise in non-performing loans. In addition to NPL resolution tools, the supervisory approaches to interest rate and operational risks will be discussed. Coupled with cross-border aspects of bank recovery and resolution framework we will also touch upon the upcoming changes to the European crisis management and deposit insurance framework. Lastly, we will continue discussions on the supervisory approaches to climate related risks with special focus to carbon transition plans for banks and macroprudential stress testing.
  • Supervisory Challenges and Green Transition in Post-pandemic Environment

    May 17-18, 2022: A decade of implementing important regulatory reforms following the global financial crisis has sometimes diverted attention from more basic prudential topics that are among the leading causes for banking crises. FinSAC’s two day conference in Vienna refocuses attention on these and allows participants to share experiences and views on the proportional implementation of complex financial sector reforms to develop stronger and more resilient banking sectors in the Europe and Central Asia region.
  • COVID-19 and Non-Performing Loan Resolution in the Europe and Central Asia Region

    March 2-20, 2021: The pandemic prompted a series of emergency measures that resulted in sharp falls in levels of economic activity, household income, and enterprise revenues and thus loan repayment capacity. With borrower distress on the increase, policymakers around the world have introduced a variety of relief measures to flatten the bankruptcy curve and to provide breathing space to distressed debtors, particularly through temporary payment and enforcement moratoria. With borrower relief measures still in place in many countries, pressures on asset quality are not yet fully reflected in reported asset quality indicators. Looking ahead, rising borrower distress will inevitably translate into fresh pressures on asset quality in the banking sector, that will become more apparent once the current support measures are phased out.
  • Webinar on Borrower Relief Measures in ECA region

    May 18, 2020: In an effort to preserve viable economic activity, jobs, and livelihoods from the impact of COVID-19, policymakers worldwide have been quick to roll out borrower relief programs, most often by temporarily suspending or reducing debt service obligations of borrowers that have experienced a significant drop in income. This webinar discusses the broad design features of borrower relief schemes in several countries in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region.
  • International Conference on Fintech

    May 22-23, 2019: Conference convened regulators, supervisors, and central bankers across client and donor jurisdictions along with relevant counterparts in public and private sectors and academia to share their experiences and views to deepen the understanding in a key fintech areas.
  • Bank Recovery and Resolution Stakeholders'

    May 15-16, 2019: Participants discussed with high level international experts representing European authorities including the ECB and SRB a wide range of topics related to deposit insurance and bank recovery and resolution.
  • Conference on Banking Supervision and Resolution from a Small Host Country Perspective

    February 5, 2019: Experts will analyze the consequences of recent EU reforms in the area of supervision and resolution from the perspective of small host countries in CESEE and come up with recommendations on how to best address these challenges.
  • International Conference on NPL Resolution

    May 15-16, 2018: The Vienna conference examined the following four key areas, with expert input including from the World Bank, European Central Bank, European Banking Authority, European Commission and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
  • Deposit Insurance Systems: Addressing Emerging Challenges in Funding, Investment, Risk-based Contributions and Stress Testing

    November 30, 2017: The workshop aims to bring together deposit insurers from Eastern and Central European countries, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa region, EU authorities, and international experts to generate discussions and share knowledge in four key areas.
  • Workshop on the Role of the Judiciary in Bank Resolution for Judges

    October 5-6, 2017: This conference brought Ukrainian judges and relevant staff from the National Bank and the Deposit Insurance Agency together with practitioner lawyers and judges from other countries to discuss the role of the judiciary in bank resolution and liquidation cases and international good practice.
  • Resolution Regimes in Europe: Implementation of effective resolution regimes in the region

    April 19, 2017: A key feature of a stable financial system is that financial institutions must be able to fail in an orderly manner – that is, without taxpayer exposure to loss from solvency support and without disruption to their critical economic functions. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), in close cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank and experts from FSB member authorities, have developed international standards for effective resolution regimes.
  • Conference on EU Bank Resolution and Workshop on Bail-in

    December 12-13, 2016: FinSAC convenes senior experts for a Conference on Bank Resolution in the European Union on and a specialist Workshop on Bail-in in Vienna, Austria.
  • Macroprudential Policymaking in Emerging Europe

    June 2, 2016: FinSAC hosted a workshop on “Macroprudential Policymaking in Emerging Europe” in Vienna. Participants and speakers included senior financial stability experts of central banks and regulatory agencies from 17 countries in Europe as well as from FinSAC, the Joint Vienna Institute, the Bank of International Settlements and the European Central Bank.
  • Regional Seminar on the Single Supervisory Mechanism

    November 3-4, 2015: A seminar on the impact of the Single Supervisory Mechanism on the supervision of banking groups operating in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. 

  • Cyber Preparedness Seminar

    May 18-19, 2015: A Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC) regional seminar for senior officials from central banks, supervisory agencies and ministries of finance in the Europe and Central Asia Region on improving cyber risk preparedness.
  • Recovery and Resolution Planning: From Experts to Experts

    April 23-24, 2015: A workshop examining how to assess and establish credible and feasible recovery and resolution (R&R) strategies for individual financial institutions, with insights into the new resolution framework established in the European Union under the BRRD/SRM and tips on the practical implementation of R&R planning.
  • Challenges for European Deposit Insurance Systems: Funding, Investment Practices and Reimbursement

    February 26, 2015. A regional seminar organized jointly by the Polish Bank Guarantee Fund, and the World Bank Financial Sector Advisory Center, brought together experts to discuss key topics that ensure financial sector stability.
  • FinSAC Conference: Credit Risk Management and Regulatory Provisioning in an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Environment

    21-22 October, 2014: Participants from central banks and regulatory agencies from ten countries in the Europe and Central Asia region, international financial institutions (IFIs), and the host, Austrian Ministry of Finance discussed issues pertaining to credit losses and policy alternatives, implementation considerations of the new IFRS 9 standard and modelling of credit losses.
  • World Bank - FinSAC International Conference on Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy

    11-14 June, 2014: A regional conference took place in Sofia, Bulgaria that provided a forum to enhance knowledge about various initiatives on consumer protection and financial literacy in countries across Europe and Central Asia.
  • Vienna Center for Financial Sector Advisory Services Releases its Second Annual Report

    Press Release
    19 May, 2014: The Vienna Center for Financial Sector Advisory Services (FinSAC) released its second annual report detailing the work undertaken by the program.
  • FinSAC signs extension of the Trust Fund

    6 December, 2013: The World Bank and Austria's Federal Ministry of Finance signed an extension of a Trust Fund Agreement, bringing the overall resources contributed to the operations of FinSAC to a total of Euro 13.5 million (about US$18.5 million).

Recent Publications
Info Materials

Financial Sector’s Cybersecurity: A Regulatory Digest

The Digest is a periodically updated compilation of recent laws, regulations, guidelines, and other significant documents such as communication of initiatives or research and analysis on cybersecurity for the financial sector.  The growing collection of resources aims to assist financial sector authorities primarily, but also the industry, cybersecurity professionals, and others interested in financial system stability, to navigate the cross section of cybersecurity and the financial sector.  

Cyber risk is not a problem for IT specialists only; it is everybody's problem in any organization. Several documents in the Digest can help a much wider audience understand what cyber risk is, why it matters for financial stability and everyone's role in adequately managing it. The updates include new publications since the previous edition and older ones that FinSAC frequently finds with help from readers, who are strongly encouraged to keep letting us know anything they feel is missing.

This resource is continuously evolving to improve its utility for financial sector authorities.  Currently at its 6th edition, the Digest consists of two parts:  1) the Digest document (PDF download) with the explanatory summaries of all the items in the Digest, beginning with a section reflecting on the edition’s new documents; and 2) the “Source Table” (Excel download) with all items in an easy to view list, filterable by some characteristics.  With the Digest now being of over 300 documents, readers are strongly encouraged to review the Source Table after reading the Introduction and What’s New sections.

6th Edition  (pub. Aug. 2021):  Digest Source Table

5th Edition  (pub. Jul. 2020):  Digest Source Table

4th Edition (pub. Nov. 2019):  Digest | Source Table

3rd Edition (pub. May. 2019):  Digest | Source Table

2nd Edition (pub. Oct. 2018): Digest | Source Table

1st Edition (pub. Dec. 2017):  Digest | Source Table

For any inquiries, please contact Yejin Carol Lee (Senior Financial Sector Specialist, EFNFS,

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Event convened regulators, supervisors, and central bankers across client and donor jurisdictions along with relevant counterparts in public and private sectors and academia to share their experiences and views to deepen the understanding in a key fintech areas.

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