Direct financial transactions between Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are poised to recommence in November after a gap of 16 years. The move, heralded by Podgorica’s news outlet Vijesti, will be orchestrated through the Universal Capital Bank (UCB), the only bank that has shown interest in entering the clearing system of payments amongst the three nations.
This initiative will be a boon for both individuals and businesses within these countries, sparing them from the higher costs and delays previously incurred by using correspondent banks abroad. Payments will now be expedited, ensuring funds are transferred on the same day of payment.
A previous attempt in September 2007 to streamline payment services had led to an agreement between the central banks of the three nations; however, it only functioned between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina due to a lack of interest from banks in Montenegro. With UCB’s involvement, Montenegro will now be integrated into the system.
The National Bank of Serbia (NBS) has been designated as the system operator. The current phase involves rigorous testing, with UCB expecting imminent discussions with the NBS to finalize the message exchange system, leading to a comprehensive clearing cycle test with the NBS and the Central Bank of Montenegro.