Banking & Finance, Newsletter, September 2011 - Bosnia And Herzegovina

Over the last nine months there were few significant legislative changes in the area of banking and finance regulations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The following regulations have been adopted in the Republic of Srpska: (i) the Law on Amendments to the Law on Banking Agency of the Republic of Srpska and (ii) the Rulebook on the Banking System Ombudsman of the Republic of Srpska. In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina the main legislative changes pertain to the enactment of (i) the Rulebook on the methods, deadlines and the manner of the preparation, presentation and hand over of consolidated financial statements as well as (ii) the Guidelines for Licensing and the Issuance of Other Approvals by the Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Extension of powers of the Banking Agency of the Republic of Srpska and the Introduction of a Banking System Ombudsman in the Republic of Srpska

The Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on the Banking Agency of the Republic of Srpska (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, no. 40/11, "LBA Amendments") has been effective since the 21 April 2011.

Competencies of the Banking Agency. The LBA Amendments have extended the competencies of the Banking Agency of the Republic of Srpska ("Agency"). The Agency can now:

Supervise and carry out the necessary activities in order to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, in relation to the activities of banks, microcredit organizations, savings and loans organizations and other financial organizations; Supervise and carry out other activities in accordance with the regulations on the introduction and application of certain temporary measures for the efficient performance of international restrictive measures; Adopt bylaws on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing and consumer protection, as well as carry out consumer protection activities. Banking System Ombudsman. The LBA Amendments provide for the establishment of the Baking System Ombudsman ("Ombudsman"), as an independent organizational unit within the Agency, in order to promote and protect the rights and interests of the consumers. The Ombudsman, as one of the facilitators of consumer protection in the Republic of Srpska, should contribute to a more efficient and faster resolution of misunderstandings and disputes between institutions of the banking system and consumers of the financial services by independent parties, with minimal formalities...

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