This month, Lithuania has taken over the Presidency of the European Union (July- December). Over the next six months , the European Banking Federation looks forward to working with the Lithuanian Presidency as a partner of choice in EU legislative matters. In this issue of E-News, we shine the spotlight on the Association of Lithuanian Banks. In the following interview its President Stasys Kropas, highlights some of the Association’s priorities.
1. What is the main goal of the Association?
The main goal of the Association is to seek the most efficient regulatory, supervisory and business environment, enabling banks to enhance the process of private and public wealth creation.
2. How many members do you have and what type of banks do they belong to?
Our members comprise eight universal banks operating in Lithuania. Six of them are registered in Lithuania and two are foreign branches. The assets of our members consist of 99 percent of the total assets of the banking sector. The leasing committee of the Association of Lithuanian Banks unites the efforts of the leasing industry which represents their interests in discussions with the authorities.
3. Which are the most important areas the Association of Lithuanian Banks work on?
The LBA is the voice of the banking community. It coordinates the preparation banking sector’s positions on the most important banking issues and represents the industry in discussions with the authorities, media and public. The Association also initiates and coordinates the implementation of important infrastructural projects and good practices, collects banking statistics, provides legal and other necessary services.
4. Can you tell us a little about the structure of the Association of Lithuanian Banks?
The highest management body of the Association is the General Members’ Assembly. The President of the Association of Lithuanian Banks manages and performs the Association`s operational activities. There are also committees and working groups in the Association of Lithuanian banks which are working constantly, taking into consideration the needs of the banking sector.
5. In what way will the Lithuanian Presidency influence the work of the your Association?
First of all, we have to devote more resources to international contacts and requests. We have also established [AB1] closer relations with the staff of the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Lithuania in order to present industry views on the most important legal and regulatory initiatives. In relation to the informal ECOFIN meeting in Vilnius we are pleased to be holding the EBF Executive Committee meeting on 13 September this year. We will organise this event in cooperation with EUROFI and Committee members and guests are invited to participate in the EUROFI Financial Forum 2013 and related events, to take place on 12 September, the day before.
6. What are the priority issues of your Association under the EU Presidency?
Firstly, priorities related to the creation of Banking Union. The Single Supervisory Mechanism and banks resolution mechanism are the most important issues. Just a year ago, all financial sector supervisory functions were consolidated in the new supervisory body, therefore now the Central Bank of Lithuania has to adjust to the new environment. Second, presidency activities overlap with the banks’ preparation for the euro introduction in Lithuania. New payments infrastructure in Lithuania should be in place by the end of next year, at latest.
7. What are the benefits of the Lithuanian Presidency for your Association and your country in general?
Deeper understanding and better involvement in European issues, amplification of our cooperation with our partners.
8. If your association were a product what would it be?
“Cheese” – under constant pressure from all sides, but becoming more mature and tasty.