High-level conference of Banka Slovenije and the International Monetary Fund

05/17/2024 / Press release

Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) economies are still catching up with other European Union (EU) countries in the development of their financial systems. Banks play an outsized role in corporate financing, but nevertheless the volume of corporate loans and total bank assets is below the EU average. Broader capital markets are not utilized to their full capacity, and corporate financing through channels such as angel, seed and venture capital financing remains limited. The gap between the CESEE countries and most other EU member states is still significant. Taking all this together, the region’s economy would benefit from faster financial development convergence.

Banka Slovenije and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have recognized the importance of addressing these issues at the conference "Financial systems in the CESEE region", which was held in the Slovenian coastal city of Portorož on 17 May 2024.

Opening remarks were given by Alfred Kammer, the Director of the European Department at the IMF, and Boštjan Vasle, Governor of Banka Slovenije. High-level international and Slovenian speakers and panelists at the conference, including Representatives of central banks, ministries of finance, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Comission, namely also Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), as well as experts from financial and consulting companies, discussed the state of the financial systems in the region and possible ways forward.

The first of three sessions at the conference addressed the functioning and development of banking systems in the CESEE region, and their role in the context of the evolving global financial landscape. Views on the availability of financing for capital and business projects in the countries of the CESEE region were exchanged in the second session. The final session was devoted to policy responses to financial system challenges and global trends.

Opening speech by Governor Boštjan Vasle
Keynote speech by the Director of the European Department at the IMF Alfred Kammer
A short summary of the conference