The Alternative Financial Services Association of North Macedonia
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2020 analysis: The financial companies, even under challenging conditions, gave support in overcoming the effects caused by the Covid – crisis, and continue to be open for development of the FinTech industry.

According to the statistic from the National bank of North Macedonia, within the financial system of North Macedonia, the total assets of the other (non-banking) financial institutions in 2020 made annual growth of 12,8%.

The assets of the financial companies have annual growth of 14.1%. At the end of 2020, the total assets of the financial companies are around 5 billion denars, and most of them or 89% are referred to the needs from the private sector. The approved credits of the population at the end of 2020 are around 3.5 billion denars, while the approved credits of the companies are around 980 million denars. Compared to the end of 2019, the population’s lending increased for 24.3%, while the lending to companies decreased for 4.6%.

The two-digit annual growth of the population’s credits in 2020 is is achieved, despite the disruption of the balances during this year, as a result of the situations from the Covid pandemic. Non-banking financial companies, that are complementary to the traditional financial system in credit support of the private sector, even under these challenging conditions, gave support in overcoming the negative effects caused by the Covid crisis. In the following period they will continue to support the private sector to make the recovery of the economy from the pandemic easier.

Maja Kadievska Vojnovikj, financial expert and former Vice Governor of the National bank of North Macedonia believes that these numbers are encouraging. “The intensive credit support of the population by the financial companies even in the Covid crisis is commendable. This transformation of the credit market that happened all around the world did not go around our economy. The rapid growth of the alternative lending outside of the traditional channels has been especially emphasized in the last couple of years and should continue. The growing credit support to the population and the companies by the financial companies, which are complementary to the traditional lenders – banks and savings banks, indicates that there is a need to increase the level of financial intermediation and financial inclusion in the domestic economy. ” – estimates Kadievska Vojnovikj.

 
The role of the financial companies is especially pointed out in the segment of consumer credits, but there is also the support of micro and small companies. At the same time, the use of modern advances in technology, ie digital channels and new business models by many financial companies is a positive step to join the digital age

North Macedonia must get involved in the new digital age and must use the advantages of modern technology. Kadievska Vojnovikj points out that a Strategy for development of the FinTech industry in the Republic of North Macedonia is needed. “The Strategy should start by defining clear goals, which are about FinTech increasing the financial inclusion of the population, improving access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises, increasing the flow of money in the economy or in short, increasing the total power of the economy. At the same time, the operation of the FinTech companies increases the competition and encourages innovation within the traditional providers of financial services, and the innovations are inherently deflationary, ie they have lower prices for financial products and services. We will all benefit from the entry of FinTech”, concluded Maja Kadievska Vojnovi.

Besides creating a strategy, the adequate regulation should provide growth of FinTech in our country. Also, it is necessary for all the regulators to prepare for the new period. In this context, the dialog with the regulator for the stability of the financial companies sector, is needed now more then ever.

We see 2021 as the Fintech year in our country and we expect accelerated activities by the regulator and the institutions in order to support the development of this sector in North Macedonia. I appreciate that the non-banking financial companies where Fintech is integrated in the basis of their work, and especially the membership of AFD as one of the most technologically advanced non-banking financial companies in our country, have excellent knowledge and expertise in the field, and can offer significant support for creating the strategies.“- stated Filip Dimitrovski, President of the Association of Financial Companies of Northern Macedonia.

For illustration, according to the data from the last Financial stability report from 2019 made by the National Bank of North Macedonia, banks participate with 81.4% in the total assets of the financial system, and evidently in the last few years, the share of the non-banking financial companies is growing, with up to 0.6% of the total assets of the financial system.

 

More information about the Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia is available on the website www.afd.mk

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