From 2011 to 2020, with support from USAID, FSVC helped strengthen the Albanian financial sector by improving the quality and consistency of financial sector regulation and supervision. To do so, FSVC provided targeted, practical assistance to the three main financial regulators in Albania: the Bank of Albania, the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority and the Albanian Deposit Insurance Authority. The result is a more stable and sound financial sector in Albania, that can serve as a catalyst and stimulant for private sector growth, foreign direct investment and job creation.
Through a combination of capacity-building missions, drafting of new regulations and procedures, study visits to counterparts in Western Europe and the US, and the simulation of potential crisis scenarios, FSVC experts helped financial regulators in Albania achieve and maintain high standards in financial supervision, in line with international standards. Key areas of assistance included financial stability and banking supervision, deposit insurance, insurance supervision and capital markets supervision. FSVC also helped the General Directorate of Taxation in the area of tax collection, and the Government of Albania in the area of mobile payments.
Central Banking – FSVC helped the Bank of Albania (BoA):
· Improve its supervisory framework, by building the capacity of the BoA’s Supervision Department in the on- and off-site supervision of risks and in consolidated supervision, resulting in a more effective supervision of the evolving risks of the banking sector;
· Strengthen its internal audit and general governance framework;
· Align its bank resolution framework with EU standards; and
· Increase its capacity to implement an instant payments solution in Albania.
Insurance Sector Supervision – FSVC assisted the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to:
· Draft a new Law on Insurance and amend the Law on the AFSA, to strengthen regulation and the AFSA’s own independence and accountability standards;
· Implement a risk-based approach to the supervision of insurance companies;
· Strengthen the cross-border supervision of insurance companies, by helping the AFSA enhance regional cooperation and analyze solvency indicators for cross-border groups; and
· Tackle troubled insurance companies, to minimize risks to consumers and the wider insurance industry.
Capital Markets Supervision – FSVC assisted the AFSA to:
· Strengthen its capacity to supervise and regulate investments funds, a new rapidly-growing market segment; and
· Promote the development of capital markets and pension funds in Albania, thanks to enhanced regulation and supervision.
Deposit Insurance – FSVC helped the Albanian Deposit Insurance Agency (ADIA):
· Refine its organizational structure, enhance its financial management and investment policies, to ensure a high level of readiness in responding to a potential payout event;
· Develop and implement an automated system for the calculation and reporting of deposit premia paid by insured banks;
· Upgrade its IT Systems and ensure compliance with evolving legal requirements; and
· Develop business continuity capabilities to ensure the continuity of its operations against the background of external threats.
· FSVC helped the BoA make key regulatory changes to accommodate the introduction of innovative, market-driven payment technologies that support financial inclusion; and
· FSVC assisted in developing consensus among key stakeholders (e.g., BoA, financial institutions) for an inclusive mobile payments system in Albania open to all stakeholders.
Tax Administration – FSVC helped the General Directorate of Taxation (GDT):
· Improve taxpayer services, including by establishing a Call Center and improving the efficiency of online services;
· Improve debt collection, by focusing resources on key segments of the taxpayer base;
· Strengthen its strategic planning process, and translate strategic plans into operational plans; and
· Enhance the tax investigation process.