Survey of the Legal and Regulatory Environment for Microfinance Institutions in the Republic of Serbia

A case for developing conducive regulatory environment for microfinance in Serbia
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This study outlines the legal and regulatory environment for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Republic of Serbia.The paper begins with providing the current landscape of microfinance in the country:

  • Microfinance in Serbia is currently conducted through three international NGOs that operate microlending programs under the protection of a bilateral agreement between Yugoslavia and UNHCR;
  • The main regulatory authority is the National Bank of Yugoslavia (NBY).

The study analyzes the relevant provisions under the following legal forms which are appropriate for microfinance:

  • Banks and other financial organizations;
  • Savings banks;
  • Non-profit legal form.

Finally, the paper recommends the following steps for reforming the regulatory environment for microfinance:

  • Education and policy awareness-building;
  • Monitoring and supporting relevant reform initiatives;
  • Interim operating strategies;
  • Long term action:
    • Long-term access to capital by NGO MFIs after donor resources become scarce,
    • Development of the rest of the spectrum of financial institutions to target low-income clients.

About this Publication

By Lauer, K. & Lyman, T.