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The History, Foundation and Existence of Sparkasse Bank Makedonija



TheHistory, Foundation and Existence of Sparkasse Bank Makedonija

SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje as a commercial bank offers a wide range of banking products and services, intended for support, development and financing of retail and corporate clients. As client-oriented, the Bank is present on the Macedonian financial market with 25-years tradition and experience in banking sector.

TheHistory, Foundation and Existence of Sparkasse Bank Makedonija

SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje, with its own head office in Skopje, located at Makedonija Street no 9-11, was founded as a shareholding company on the 29th of December 1992, when the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia issued the licence to INVESTBANKA AD SKOPJE for establishing as commercial bank, with shareholding structure consisted of 72% domestic capital and 28% foreign capital. One of the biggest domestic shareholders were the following companies: PIVARA AD Skopje, Fershped AD Skopje and Makpetrol AD Skopje. The roots of the bank are funded since 1977 when it operated as a branch office of INVESTBANKA Beograd, which has own tradition in banking industry since 1862.

After the monetary independence of the Republic of Macedonia INVESTBANKA AD Skopje was among the first two banks which obtained licence for banking operations from the National Bank. Together with five other banks in Macedonia initiated and founded the Macedonian Stock Exchange and she was the first bank in Macedonia which founded its own brokerage company – Investbroker AD Skopje. INVESTBANKA AD Skopje was the first bank that obtained the licence for domestic payment operations in Macedonia and among the first two banks that introduced the e-banking operating services. Since 1998 the Bank was the only provider of IFAD 1 credit line with special division – Revolving credit fund and approved the first loan from IFAD 2 credit line for agricultural development in Macedonia.

With the transaction on the 10th of September 2008, more than 96% of the Bank’s ownership passed into the hands of Steiermärkische Sparkasse Group. During 2009, the Bank went through a transformation process according to the standards of Steiermärkische Sparkasse and Erste Group, which contributed in forming a modern way of organizing the Bank’s performances. Respecting all legal regulations in the state and the principles of the Bank’s business policy, she fulfilled the promises to her shareholders, providing entry of a known financial brand as Steiermärkische Sparkassefrom Graz, Austria.

An important part of the transformation process was also the change of the name of the Bank from INVESTBANK AD Skopje in SPARKASSE BANK MAKEDONIJA AD Skopje in the first quarter of 2010 and followed re-branding process till the end of the year.

In the following years the Bank focused its operations on creating attractive financial offers of new products tailor made according the needs of every member in the family and ensuring progressive care for the clients. The new slogan “Bank of your family” means that the Bank is considering the needs of every member of the family, from the youngest to the eldest.

Sparkasse Bank Makedonija – tradition, reliability and trust!

Tradition, reliability and trust are synonymous with Sparkasse Bank Makedonija, durable values ​​that are part of our and your everyday life, part of our common success. They give us the right to believe in a common future and in the realization of efficient and modern banking. Proof of this statement is the confidence expressed through the achieved results in the past years and the continuous development of the Bank. The bank ended the past 2017 with assets of over 305.5 million euros and nearly 58,600 active clients receiving top banking services in 26 most modern branches throughout Macedonia.

Our mother bank Staermerkische Sparkasse, through the long-standing tradition of nearly two centuries, is a synonym for stability and continuity in the work with a built-in brand Sparkasse with red S.

The red sign S means:

– Reliability, trust and tradition, which makes it a trusted partner for employees and clients;

– A solid business model of a strong and successful group that is resistant to crisis;

– An economically successful concept that follows the principles of social responsibility.

Steiermaerkische Sparkasse Group, with total assets of 15 billion euros, 233 branches and regional centers, about 2,751 employees and about 702,414 clients in Styria and Southeast Europe (according to data from the end of 2017) is the largest regional bank in the south of Austria.

The Group has a long-term and sustainable investment strategy in the region, which makes it a trusted partner and investor behind Sparkasse Bank Makedonija. As a member of Erste and Steiermaerkische Sparkasse Group, Sparkasse Bank Makedonija is part of the strongest group of banks focused on working with individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe.

Our mission and vision

VISION: a modern bank that meets our clients’ expectations and creates new values for its employees and shareholders.

MISION: positioning among the first three banks in the market by the option of its clients, a bank that realizes their needs and projects.


Key strategic objective of the Bank for the next five-year period is to continue the process of developing stable and profitable bank, in which the clients recognize a reliable and credible long-term partner mainly through insuring its clients “best customer experience”. Our objective is to exceed our clients’ expectations and build partner relation based on mutual trust and long-term cooperation.

Our strategy

The Bank’s focus incorporated in this Business Policy and Development Plan remains positioned on creating value added for our main target groups:

  • Our clients – we build strong and long-term connection with our clients who are in the center of our operations through securing long-term benefits and providing experience different from that offered by other banks;
  • Our shareholders – strengthening the capital and securing long-term stable operation of the Bank through continuous provision of adequate rate of return, accepting acceptable risk level and sound decisions on resource allocation;
  • Our employees – educated, trained and motivated employees to improve the service quality for the clients and to enhance the operation;
  • The community – raising social responsibility awareness through participation in existing and introducing new innovative projects important for the community.


Bank of England adapts bank stress test for pandemic era



Bank of England adapts bank stress test for pandemic era 1

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England’s health check on banks this year will seek to ensure that Britain’s big lenders, including HSBC, and Barclays, can continue supporting the economy during the pandemic and will also look at how banks can return to more normal dividend levels.

Last year, the British central bank cancelled its annual stress test of banks so they could focus on keeping credit flowing to an economy hit by its worst downturn in 300 years due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The test usually focuses on banks’ ability to face big theoretical shocks, but the focus has changed given that the economy is facing real stresses from the pandemic, the BoE said.

“At this point stress tests are used to assess whether the buffers of capital that banks have built up are large enough to deal with how the prevailing stress could unfold,” the BoE said in a statement.

Banks that will be tested this year also include Lloyds, NatWest, Standard Chartered, and Nationwide Building Society. Virgin Money UK will take part for the first time.

The BoE said this year’s test of the leading banks will be conducted in a “staggered” way, with banks submitting their initial projections earlier in April on coping with a range of market shocks without going below bespoke minimum capital levels.

The stress test scenario includes a second dip in economic growth in 2021-2025 on top of the one seen last year, with UK residential property prices crashing by a third and unemployment surging to just under 12%.

The scenario also includes simultaneous economic slowdowns globally, with protectionist tendencies in world trade becoming entrenched, the BoE said.

The test will also check if a big change in consumer spending patterns seen during the pandemic, such as sharp falls in spending on travel, entertainment and hotels, poses a risk to banks if these trends persist long term.

The BoE will publish aggregate results in the summer, with the usual bank-by-bank outcomes made public in the fourth quarter.

After the economy went into its first lockdown in March last year, the BoE told banks to suspend dividend payments to preserve capital. In December, the central bank set out “guardrails” for relaxing its curbs on bank dividends.

“As noted in the December 2020 Financial Stability Report, the results of the 2021 test will also be used as an input into the Prudential Regulation Authority’s transition back to its standard approach to capital-setting and shareholder distributions through 2021.”

To help banks with the different timetable this year, the BoE said their “ring fenced” retail banking units would not form part of the test, but will be included in the 2022 test.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

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‘Act big’ now to save economy, worry about debt later, Yellen says in Treasury testimony



'Act big' now to save economy, worry about debt later, Yellen says in Treasury testimony 2

By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Janet Yellen, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, urged lawmakers on Tuesday to “act big” on coronavirus relief spending, arguing that the economic benefits far outweigh the risks of a higher debt burden.

In more than three hours of confirmation hearing testimony, the former Federal Reserve chair laid out a vision of a more muscular Treasury that would act aggressively to reduce economic inequality, fight climate change and counter China’s unfair trade and subsidy practices.

Taxes on corporations and the wealthy will eventually need to rise to help finance Biden’s ambitious plans for investing in infrastructure, research and development, and for worker training to improve the U.S. economy’s competitiveness, she told members of the Senate Finance Committee.

But that would only come after reining in the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 400,000 in the United States, and the economic devastation it brought.

Yellen, who spoke by video link, said her task as Treasury chief will be to help Americans endure the final months of the pandemic as the population is vaccinated, and rebuild the economy to make it more competitive and create more prosperity and more jobs.

“Without further action we risk a longer, more painful recession now and longer-term scarring of the economy later,” she said.

Yellen said pandemic relief would take priority over tax increases, but corporations and the wealthy, which both benefited from 2017 Republican tax cuts “need to pay their fair share.”

She raised eyebrows of some senators and Wall Street when she said that Treasury would consider the possibility of taxing unrealized capital gains – through a “mark-to-market” mechanism – as well as other approaches to boost revenues.


She also that the value of the dollar should be determined by markets, a break from departing President Donald Trump’s desire for a weaker U.S. currency.

“The United States does not seek a weaker currency to gain competitive advantage and we should oppose attempts by other countries to do so,” she said.

Wall Street stocks rose on Tuesday in reaction to Yellen’s call for a hefty stimulus package, as well as to positive bank earnings updates. Oil prices also rose, while Treasury yields fell slightly on her comments that parts of the 2017 tax reform should be repealed.

Biden, who will be sworn into office on Wednesday, outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal last week, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the virus under control.

Asked what outlays would provide the biggest “bang for the buck,” Yellen said spending on public health and widespread vaccinations was the first step. Extended unemployment and nutrition aid, better known as food stamps, should be next, she said.

“Neither the president-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” Yellen said.

She said even though the amount of debt relative to the economy has risen, the interest burden – the amount the Treasury pays to service its debt – has not, due to lower interest rates. She said she will watch that metric closely as the economy recovers.


Yellen also called climate change an “existential threat” to the U.S. economy and said she would appoint a senior official at Treasury to oversee the issue and assess systemic risks it poses to the financial system.

She added investment in clean technologies and electric vehicles was needed to cut carbon emissions, keep the U.S. economy competitive and provide good jobs for American workers.

Yellen said China was the most important strategic competitor of the United States and underscored the determination of the Biden administration to crack down on what she called China’s “abusive, unfair and illegal practices.”

Asked whether China had committed “genocide” in its treatment of Muslim Uighurs as the Trump administration declared in a last-minute proclamation, Yellen said China is “guilty of horrendous human rights abuses, yes.”

Biden’s transition team urged the Senate to move swiftly to confirm Yellen. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who will lead the Finance Committee after Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, said he would push for a confirmation vote on Thursday. Republican Senator Mike Crapo said he would work towards an “expeditious” confirmation for Yellen.

She also received the endorsement of all former Treasury secretaries, from George Schultz to Jack Lew, who urged senators in a letter to swiftly confirm Yellen’s nomination to avoid “setting back recovery efforts.” A spokeswoman for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who steps down on Wednesday, did not respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by David Lawder, Andrea Shalal, Ann Saphir and David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Heather Timmons, Andrea Ricci and Kim Coghill)

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Open Banking: the perfect pandemic tool – Equifax comments



How the application network unlocks open banking’s future

With COVID-19 related financial fallout set to dominate the credit landscape in 2021, Dan Weaver, Open Banking Expert at Equifax UK, believes Open Banking solutions can provide lenders clarity in a sea of uncertainty: 

“With lockdown once again in place across the UK, it’s clear 2021 will be a year of extreme financial flux. While the vaccine roll-out programme will provide an economic boost and eventual easing of restrictions, forbearance measures, such as mortgage holidays and the government furlough scheme, will be wound down. This will lead to income shocks for many, and the potential for a nationwide surge in personal debt.

“With the third anniversary of its implementation today (13 January), Open Banking is entering a new mature phase of its development. The initiative’s credentials are now widely established, offering creditors the perfect pandemic tool to assess the most accurate picture of an individual’s finances.

“Consider someone who has just returned to the workforce after being made redundant or placed on furlough. Traditional credit bureau or legacy data alone would not always provide potential lenders with the most up-to-date information on their current financial circumstances and ability to repay credit at the point of application. Open Banking platforms, through customer consent, pull live data directly from the user’s bank account, allowing creditors to make an informed, responsible and fair decision about their current affordability on the most recent data available – a game-changing factor amid such widespread financial upheaval and rapid change in people’s circumstances.

“Open Banking is a tool for our times and it’s vital more credit providers, not just big banks and finance but utilities, insurance, auto and telcos companies, accelerate its adoption. Throughout our society and economy in the past year, we’ve witnessed feats of great innovation, executed at rapid speed. In 2021, we need to apply this transformational energy to the Open Banking landscape, slashing the time it takes for creditors to test protocol and fully set up their solutions.

“Three years after its arrival, we’re seeing Open Banking platforms improve digital, real-time income verification rates by more than 25% * – which is no mean feat. If an industry-wide, mass acceleration strategy was successfully achieved in 2021, it would prove extremely valuable and timely, and lead to better customer and creditor outcomes throughout the credit space.”

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