With a view to improving our efficiency, the Croatian Banking Association (CBA) has set up a number of professional committees and subcommittees, and other permanent or provisional bodies. Experts from banks are actively involved in the membership of committees and working groups. Some committees meet on a regular basis, as they deal with very dynamic areas, while others meet as the need arises, i.e. depending on the importance of the topic to be discussed. The following is an outline of the main tasks and activities of particular CBA committees and working groups.
Committee for Legal and Institutional Matters - Members of this Committee are legal professionals from member banks, who are tasked with starting legal initiatives of interest to legal structures in the CBA member banks. They put forward proposals to the Executive Committee and other CBA bodies. One of their crucial roles is to provide opinions and positions on any legal acts and by-laws pertaining to the banking business. Members of this Committee are also involved in the work of other CBA bodies.
Financial Market Committee (formerly the Assets and Liabilities Management Committee) - The membership of this Committee consists mostly of assets and liability managers of member banks, and their main task is to consider measures in the field of central banking operations. In addition to the cooperation with the CNB, this Committee also cooperates with HANFA (Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency), the Ministry of Finance and ACI Croatia.
Payment Systems Committee - Since its establishment, the Payment Systems Committee has been very active in resolving open issues in the functioning of payment transactions in Croatia. The fundamental task of the Committee is to launch initiatives of interest for the functioning of payment transactions among member banks. The Committee has a series of working groups that deal with technical and operative issues. Following Croatia’s accession to the EU and the adoption of the new Payment Transactions Act, the Payment Systems Committee and Foreign Currency Issues Committee were merged, given the completely new division of payment systems, and all the laws have been aligned with the EU legislation. With the adoption of new acts, new standards were implemented, such as the new forms (hub-3 and hub-3a), and standardised databases for the exchange of data with clients, fina, government bodies and all participants in payment transactions.
CSCC – the National Payment Systems Committee (NPSC) passed the decision on the establishment of the Croatian sepa Coordination Committee (CSCC). The CNB resides over the work of the CSCC, appoints its chairperson and determines the number of members on behalf of individual participants. The primary task is to prepare the transition of the payment system to SEPA standards and technical requirements. The final deadline for the transition is 31 October 2016. In order to ensure this is carried out, two working groups and four operative groups were formed. These groups are working intensively to find practical solutions and to prepare standards and instructions for all banks and clients. The National Migration Plan has been drafted and adopted, with the Croatian National Bank as the activity leader.
Card Committee - Members of the Card Committee are principal members of MasterCard International and Visa Europe (Zagrebačka banka d.d., Privredna banka d.d., Erste & Steiermarkische bank d.d., SG Splitska banka d.d., Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d., Hrvatska poštanska banka d.d., Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank d.d., OTP banka d.d., Podravska banka d.d.) and the card companies: PBZ Card d.o.o. and Erste Card Club d.d. The scope of this Committee includes non-competitive areas of card operations, such as: security, technology, legal matters and chargeback, at the level of the MC, Visa, AmEx and Diners brands. The Committee also includes the Security Commission, Technology Commission, Legal Commission and Chargeback Forum, Working Group for PCI DSS and Working Group for Payment Cards (SEPA).
Information Exchange Committee - This Committee was set up with a view to establishing an Information Exchange System featuring information about bad debtors. The purpose of the System is to minimise risks connected with credit products, collection, monitoring, and risk control. Participants in the information exchange have to act responsibly and apply all measures aimed at ensuring security and confidentiality in accordance with regulations and internal acts.
Risk Management Committee - Set up at the end of 2007, the main tasks of this Committee include a transparent selection of best practices in the field of risk management on the Croatian banking market, joint representation before the CNB and the possibility of a joint approach in dealings with European associations, consolidation of views at the level of the entire banking system regarding relevant elements of the future Basel II consolidated legal regulation (area of national discretions), and the exchange of know-how among Committee members. The Committee has three subcommittees: for credit risks, for operational risks, and for market risks and ICAAP.
Building Societies Committee was set up in 2007, bringing together all five building societies on the Croatian market: Prva stambena štedionica, PBZ stambena štedionica, Raiffeisen stambena štedionica, Wüstenrot stambena štedionica and HPB stambena štedionica. Due to the particular nature of their operations and problems they encounter, building societies decided to communicate their views through the CBA in order to stop negative trends in amending legal regulations which make it impossible to meet the conditions under which the building societies were first established some ten years ago and conduct business with stability and profit.
Compliance Committee - the Committee was established in 2010. Compliance is a relatively new concept in banking, and implemented globally in banks and other financial institutions worldwide. The Compliance function is basic and mandatory part of bank’s internal control system. Compliance performs both as control and advisory function with the following competences: identifying and assessing the compliance risk to which a bank is or might be exposed; advising the management board and other responsible persons on relevant laws, standards and rules, and providing them with information on recent regulatory developments; assessing the risks related to effects of regulatory changes; compliance check of new products or new procedures with relevant regulations as well as amendments to such regulations; providing advice regarding the preparation of training programmes related to compliance and managing other tasks related to ethical and lawful business performance. Chief Compliance Officers from all CNB members are involved in the activities of the Committee. In order to harmonize practices and strengthen responsibilities for compliance with relevant laws and regulations, the Committee adopted basic principles on the Compliance function which are available at the following link (Compliance_Basic Conclusions_CBA Compliance Committee.pdf).
Anti-Money Laundering Committee - This Committee gathers banking employees authorised for the prevention of money laundering, and their deputies. Considering the particular nature of the issue of money laundering, the Committee actively engages in discussions, provides opinions and recommendations regarding a number of regulations, decisions, guidelines and the like, and encourages the resolution of matters singled out as high priority in practice.
Marketing Communications Committee was established in May 2009 and it is entrusted with the analysis of the current market communication regulations, monitoring of the Croatian regulations and development of self-regulation based on the code of professional conduct, with respect for the best experience from the international practice. The banking industry, like other stakeholders in market communications, is facing demanding market circumstances and very intensive and deep changes in the regulations that govern the areas of advertising, market communication and marketing in general. The principal reason for the new, more demanding rules of the game for advertisers is in the fact that the Croatian legislation was in an accelerated process of alignment with the EU acquis communautaire, to speed up the process of EU accession. The Committee adopted the Code of Advertising with a minimum recommended standard of market communication for members of the cba, but also the banking industry as a whole. This will definitely facilitate and bring the entire “production process” in the market communication segment to a higher quality level and improve cooperation among the banks as advertisers, market communication agencies and the general public.
EU Funds Committee has been established to enable CBA members to contribute to the preparation and development of an operational national program of competitiveness as effectively as possible. The goal is to cooperate as well as possible with other stakeholders, through the exchange of banking experience and with proposals and activities, in the programming of utilization of EU funds. The committee is made up of representatives of CBA member banks that are interested in the subject matter. A representative of the CBRD participates as an external member.
Banking Mediation Committee was instituted since the establishment of the Centre for Mediation in Banking and may prompt initiatives important for mediation practice, deliver standpoints and recommendations on mediation or other alternative dispute resolution topics.
Social Responsibility Committee has set as its basic task an active role in improving the awareness and culture of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Banks taking part in the Committee aim to upgrade all their activities with the continuous education concerning CSR topics. CSR is increasingly becoming a broad area within the banking operations that is integrated into the corporate management. The Committee cooperates with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), whose representative takes part in the Committee.
Security Committee (formerly the Information Security Committee) was established in early 2012 to represent the interests of Croatian banks in the field of it security, both in Croatia and abroad. The scope of work of the Committee is in organizing joint activities for the improvement of information security, development of the risk management system regarding risks concerning the abuse of information and information channels, as well as preparation and providing incentives for the formation of a legal and statutory framework concerning information security in Croatia. Since May 2014, the members of the Committee are members of the Information Security Support Group (ISSG) and the Cybercrime Information Sharing Expert Group (CISEG) within the European Payments Council (EPC).
The Working Group for Security and Protection in Banks from April 2014 has continued its work in the framework of the Security Committee under a new name: the Working Group for Physical Security. The scope of its work includes all forms of technical and physical security of banks. This Working Group actively engages in discussions and exchange opinions on the principles of technical and physical security of banks. It regularly cooperates with the Ministry of the Interior, particularly in the annual organisation of seminars on trends in bank robberies and matters pertaining to subordinate legal acts. At the proposal of a member bank, the cba presents an Annual Award to an organisational unit of the Ministry of the Interior which has deserved the most credit for resolving a criminal act of robbery committed against a member bank. During 2013 and 2014, the Working Group joined up with the Ministry of the Interior to draft the proposal of the new Act on the Protection of Monetary Institutions.
Tax Committee was established in early 2014 in response to the increasing influence of tax matters on bank operations. Previously, discussions on tax matters were held within the Committee for Legal and Institutional Matters. The Tax Committee takes an active approach to effectively contribute to creating better regulations, and stimulates the resolution of issues that create barriers in operations.
Accounting Commmittee was established in 2015. Previously, discussions on accounting matters were held within the Accounting Working Group. Due to the significant regulatory requirements and the growing importance of accounting topics for banks, the Accounting Committee was founded. The Committee is actively contributing to the creation and adoption of better regulation and encourages problem solving for the broader accounting community.
Chief Economists Club was established to promote the roles of chief economists in Croatian banks, for the exchange of experiences and communication of common positions. The six largest Croatian banks have chief economists and/or persons responsible for strategic development, and via the Club, they conduct occasional surveys to convey their opinions on the most important economic trends and expectations.