- Monetary policy
- Financial market supervision
- Financial stability
- Banknotes and coins
- Activity Report of the NBS Innovation Hub Annual Report Economic and Monetary Developments Financial Stability Report Investment Policy Statement of the National Bank of Slovakia Macroprudential Commentary Policy Briefs
- Report on the Activities of the Financial Market Supervision Unit Research Papers: Working and Occasional Papers (WP/OP) Statistical Bulletin Structural Challenges Other publications Sign up for your email notifications about publications
- About the Bank
- Frequently asked questions
For the public
- About the Bank
- Exchange rates and interest rates
- Banknotes and coins
- Financial stability
- Financial market supervision
- Activity Report of the NBS Innovation Hub Annual Report Economic and Monetary Developments Financial Stability Report Macroprudential Commentary
- Report on the Activities of the Financial Market Supervision Unit Statistical Bulletin Other publications Sign up for your email notifications about publications
- Frequently asked questions
Is the asset purchase programme aimed at helping specific countries?
The programme is designed to push inflation and inflation expectations back to levels closer to the ECB's objective in the euro area as a whole. It does not reduce the debt of any particular country.
But doesn't the new programme force losses onto national central banks? How is that compatible with a single monetary policy?
It is true that in the new programme some risks are not shared across the Eurosystem but remain with the national central bank. The ECB is committed to the principle of risk-sharing, and that's why 20% of the purchases fall under the regime of full risk-sharing. But the decision also mitigates concerns about potential unintended fiscal consequences.
It is the Governing Council which, in accordance with the Statute of the ESCB, decides the way in which and the extent to which losses incurred by national central banks are shared within the Eurosystem. Internal loss-sharing mechanisms in no way undermine the singleness of our monetary policy. All national central banks and the ECB participate in the asset purchases. There is one global amount and the purchases are coordinated centrally by the ECB. They are calibrated to maintain price stability in the euro area as a whole, and they take into account the unique institutional structure of the euro area, where a common currency and single monetary policy co-exist with 19 national fiscal and economic policies. Precisely because our arrangement takes into account our institutional structure – because it is tailored to the specific measure – it ensures the highest degree of effectiveness.
Will the ECB turn into a "bad bank"?
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the ECB has adopted a number of unconventional policies that prompted critics to warn that it was about to incur huge losses. The fact is that, ever since its inception, the ECB has continued to make profits. It has transferred these profits via national central banks back to all citizens of the euro area. As in the past, the ECB will act in a prudent manner.
Does the asset purchase programme create a risk of high inflation?
The ECB has consistently fulfilled its mandate to keep inflation below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. As a result, the ECB has safeguarded the purchasing power of all euro area citizens. Right now, the euro area is experiencing a prolonged period of low growth and very weak inflation. An increase in central bank liquidity is therefore not likely to result in high rates of inflation. Once inflation picks up, the ECB will tighten monetary policy to contain inflationary pressures and preserve price stability. In a nutshell, the ECB has the mandate and the instruments to cope with inflationary risks as soon as they might emerge in the future – and a very strong track record of doing so in the past.
Is the ECB the only central bank conducting asset purchases?
Many central banks have used outright purchases as part of their monetary policy, often referred to as quantitative easing, or QE. It has been employed by the Federal Reserve Board, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan. Open market operations are a core instrument of central banks even in normal times. Outright purchases become useful when policy interest rates cannot be reduced any further. They can help central banks to fulfil their mandate, which in the case of the ECB is maintaining price stability, and thereby support growth and the creation of jobs.
Is the asset purchase programme monetary financing?
The ECB strictly adheres to the prohibition on monetary financing by not buying in the primary market. The ECB will only buy bonds after a market price has formed. This ensures that the ECB does not distort the market pricing of risk.
Is the asset purchase programme legal?
Yes it is. The ECB implements the monetary policy of the euro area. It pursues its mandate of price stability with the instruments defined in the Treaties. Outright purchases of marketable instruments are explicitly mentioned as a monetary policy instrument (in Article 18.1 of the Statute of the ESCB). This includes the possibility to purchase instruments such as government bonds, as long as they are bought on the secondary market from investors and not on the primary market, i.e. directly from Member States.
Can the asset purchase programme help the ECB to foster growth and job creation in Europe?
The ECB has a clear mandate: maintaining price stability. This programme will help to bring inflation back to levels in line with the ECB's objective. But it will also help businesses across Europe to enjoy better access to credit, boost investment, create jobs and thus support overall economic growth, which is a precondition for inflation to return to and stabilise at levels close to 2%. Subject to price stability, these are also important objectives to which the ECB contributes in line with the Treaty.
How can the asset purchase programme help the ECB to fulfil its mandate of maintaining price stability?
The ECB pursues a symmetric definition of price stability – high inflation is as dangerous to our economy as deflation. In the current period of weak growth and low inflation, the interest rate instrument alone has not been sufficient to steer inflation closer to 2%. If the ECB still had room to cut interest rates, it would have done so already. Given that this option was no longer possible, the asset purchase programme was the only appropriate tool to enable the ECB to achieve a similar result. To fulfil its mandate, the ECB needs to make use of all instruments at its disposal.
Banknotes and coins
Exchange of Slovak banknotes and Slovak coins
If you cannot exchange the money personally you may send them to the National Bank of Slovakia by post. Instructions are at the web page: https://nbs.sk/en/banknotes-and-coins/exchange-of-money/exchange-of-slovak-banknotes-and-slovak-coins The address for sending money by the registered letter: National Bank of Slovakia Cash Handling Section Imricha Karvasa 1 813 25 Bratislava Slovakia You will be informed about the exchange of money by a letter from the Cash Handling Section.
What euro banknotes and coins are used in Slovakia?
In Slovakia as in other eurozone countries there are seven types of euro banknotes in the nominal values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 EUR and eight euro coins in the nominal values 2 and 1 EUR and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Every euro banknote represents one architectural style. Displayed designs do not represent any particular architectural monument, but characteristic features of different architectonic styles in form of windows, gates and bridges. Windows and gates displayed on front side of the banknotes are the symbols of European spirit of openness and cooperation. The bridges on the rear symbolize the communication between nations and between Europe and rest of the world. More information about security features can be found on: http://www.new-euro-banknotes.eu/
Is there a legal provision on how much euro cash an individual or a legal entity must accept in one single payment?
According to the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 566/1992 Coll. on the National Bank of Slovakia (article 17a, para 1) within cash transactions in the Slovak Republic, it shall be prohibited to refuse to accept legal tender in its nominal value without lawful reason. This applies to euro banknotes and coins of all nominal values. At the same time, if somebody refuses to accept without lawful reason the legal tender he constitutes criminal offence (according to the article 273 of the Criminal Code of the Slovak Republic no. 300/2005 Coll.)
According to the act on the NBS (article 17a, para 2), as of the euro introduction date, legal persons and natural persons in the Slovak Republic shall, in regard to the making of monetary payments, accept the legal tender; they may refuse legal tender and return accepted legal tender into circulation pursuant to separate legal provisions applicable in the euro area to euro banknotes and euro coins, and, in the extent set out in these separate legal provisions, pursuant to the terms laid down in the act or in other separate legal provisions.
According to European and Slovak legislation natural persons and legal entities (except for the NBS and the banks) can in one single payment refuse only valid collector euro coins produced from precious metals.Besides, no party, except for the issuing authority and for those persons specifically designated by the national legislation of the issuing Member State, shall be obliged to accept more than 50 coins in one single payment (article 11 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 of 3 May 1998 on the introduction of the euro).
Is it possible to restrict acceptance of euro banknotes of the nominal value 500 EUR?
Valid legal provisions, either in Slovakia or in the eurozone, do not enable the legal entities to refuse any euro cash due to e. g. high nominal value of the banknote.
How to exchange damaged banknotes?
Replacement of mutilated, incomplete and otherwise damaged Euro banknotes is realised in the amount corresponding to the denomination of the euro banknotes submitted, or sent by post, in the manner described at the following address: https://nbs.sk/en/banknotes-and-coins/exchange-of-money/exchange-of-damaged-euro-banknotes-and-euro-coins.
The replacement personally is performed at the cash desks at NBS's Headquarters and [category CategoryId="36dd2b9a-4a60-4128-96c6-0538dc1ccc22" LanguageId="43757208-18ee-4720-b335-9aa20090e310"]local offices, during the hours of opening to the public[/category].
Is it possible to exchange banknotes of the former federal currency in the NBS?
Exchange of stamped or unstamped Czechoslovak banknotes for valid euro banknotes is not possible anymore. Last stamped federal banknote in the value of 500 Czechoslovak crowns lost its validity on 10 January 1994.
Is it possible to exchange a foreign currency in the NBS?
The NBS does not perform any foreign exchange activity; i. e. neither it buys nor sells any of the foreign currencies.
Does the National Bank of Slovakia have an exhibition at the NBS headquarters?
The exhibition From the Slovak Crown to the Euro is open only to organised groups in advance. Contact details and information on how to book an appointment for a guided tour of the exhibition can be found on the 5penazi portal.
Does the NBS protect deposits in commercial banks?
It is not the competence of the NBS to protect bank deposits. It falls within the competence of the Deposit Protection Fund, of which the NBS is only a shareholder. More information on which banks or branches of foreign banks operating in Slovakia are subject to its protection can be found on the website the Deposit Protection System Members.
What crypto-asset services will require authorization from NBS?
Authorization from NBS is necessary for provision of the following crypto-asset services:
- providing custody and administration of crypto-assets on behalf of clients
- operation of a trading platform for crypto-asset
- exchange of crypto-assets for funds
- exchange of crypto-assets for other crypto-assets
- execution of orders for crypto-assets on behalf of clients
- placing of crypto-assets
- reception and transmission of orders for crypto-assets on behalf of clients
- providing advice on crypto-assets
- providing portfolio management on crypto-assets
- providing transfer services for crypto-assets on behalf of clients
Is authorization from NBS necessary also in case when only buying and selling crypto assets on my own account?
No. Natural and legal persons buying /selling crypto-asets on their own account and who do not provide any crypto-asset services as it is defined in Art. 3 section 1 MiCA do not need any authorization from NBS.
When it will be possible to get authorization for the provision of crypto asset services?
MiCA parts, which concern provision of crypto-assets will start to apply from 30 December 2024.
What is necessary to fulfil to be authorized for the provision of crypto asset services?
Requests for getting authorization for the providers of crypto-asset services are contained in Art. 59 – 65 MiCA and will further be specified in delegated and implementing regulations and guidelines which are prepared by European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Banking Authority (EBA). Overview of the relevant legislation can be found in the section Legislation.
When it will be possible to apply for authorization to provide crypto-asset services?
NBS will start to receive authorization requests for the provision of crypto-asset services after the delegated and implementing regulation on the details of the authorization application comes into force. Decision on granting of authorization can be effective at the earliest on 30 December 2024. NBS offers to applicants possibility of consultation concerning the authorization before its submission. In case of interest for consultation before submission of the request you can write us to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and send us a detailed description of your business model, including the type of crypto-asset service according to Art. 3 section 1 MiCA, which you intend to provide.
In case of operation abroad, will it be necessary to get authorization from a foreign supervisory authority?
Based on passporting (freedom of settlement, or free provision of services in the EU), an entity which obtains an authorization for the provision of crypto-asset services from NBS can freely provide these services in all of the Member states of the EU.
Is it possible to participate in the preparation process of legislation concerning crypto-assets?
Yes. Professionals or public can get involved into consultations of delegated and implementing regulation and guidelines which are being prepared by European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Banking Authority (EBA). Overview of all the consultations opened are contained in the section Legislation as well as on the website of ESMA and EBA, where is described the way of engaging in consultation. On behalf of NBS we would like to ask you to send us responses which will be sent to EBA/ESMA to get overview of all responses of Slovak entities. Your responses can be sent to email address email@example.com
- Where can I find all the legislation that will apply to provision of crypto asset services?
What kind of authorization/registration is necessary for the provision of crypto-asset services in Slovakia?
According to the current Slovak legislation, it is necessary for the provision of crypto-asset services to obtain a “tied business” (for the provision of services of virtual currency wallet and for the provision of services of virtual currency exchange). On 30 December 2024 the current legislative framework will be replaced by European regulation MiCA. According to MICA the providers of crypto-asset services will need, for their activities, authorization from NBS or from relevant foreign supervisory authority.
1. What is financial stability?
Financial stability is a state where the financial sector as a whole is able to smoothly fulfil its basic functions even at times of major negative shocks in either the external or domestic economic and financial environment. Financial sector stability is correspondingly seen as a prerequisite for the healthy functioning of the real economy, while the behaviour of the financial sector should not deepen the economic cycle. The National Bank of Slovakia contributes to the stability of the financial system as a whole, principally by exercising supervision over financial market. While financial stability is contingent on the financial health and sound internal processes of financial institutions, it is also significantly affected by other financial market participants – non-financial corporations, households and government – as well as by the legislative and regulatory environment. For this purpose, the National Bank of Slovakia publishes twice yearly a Financial Stability Report, which is concerned primarily with identifying the main risks to the stability of the financial sector in Slovakia.
2. What is the role of macroprudential policy?
Financial market supervision focuses on the stability of individual financial institutions and the exposure of individual financial entities to individual risks. The financial crisis of recent years has, though, shown that supervision defined in such narrow terms is unable to ensure financial stability. Therefore, a new policy has been developed with the aim of ensuring the financial stability of the financial system as a whole. The role of macroprudential policy is to identify, monitor and mitigate systemic risks to the financial system. This duty to mitigate risks is what sets macroprudential supervision policy apart from supervision focused primarily on monitoring and identifying risks.
3. What are the objectives of macroprudential policy?
The core and strategic objective of macroprudential policy is to contribute to maintaining the stability of the financial system as a whole. This includes, in particular, strengthening the resilience of the financial system and reducing systemic risk, thereby ensuring the financial system’s sustainable contribution to economic growth. This core objective can be broken down into the following intermediate objectives:
- to mitigate and prevent excessive credit growth;
- to limit direct and indirect concentration risk;
- to mitigate and prevent market illiquidity and excessive maturity mismatches in bank balance sheets;
- to limit the systemic impact of misaligned incentives, with a view to reducing moral hazard;
- to strengthen the resilience of financial market infrastructure.
4. Who implements it?
In Slovakia macroprudential policy is implemented by the National Bank of Slovakia as a component of financial market supervision. This power was vested in the NBS by way of an amendment to the Financial Market Supervision Act of 15 March 2013. The NBS is also responsible for several areas that are closely linked to macroprudential policy, in particular supervision of individual financial market institutions, and the fields of regulation, currency, financial market operations, and payment systems, etc. The implementation of macroprudential policy is the responsibility of the Macroprudential Policy Department, while the highest decision-making authority in this field is the NBS Bank Board. Under the EU’s Single Supervisory Mechanism Regulation, the ECB is also involved in the implementation of macroprudential policy and has the power, when necessary, to impose policy settings stricter than those applied by the NBS.nástrojov makroprudenciálnej politiky nad rámec stanovený NBS.
5. How is macroprudential policy implemented?
Mitigating risks of a systemic nature and their impact is one of the core elements of macroprudential policy. The actual implementation of the policy involves relatively many areas. The most important part of policy implementation is the application of legislative instruments. This is a relatively strong form of response to the existence of risks, but there are also other instruments and approaches. For a start there is active communication toward the public through the publication of reports and analyses. Communication may include commentary, reviews or recommendations for the financial sector. Policy implementation may include also direct communication with financial institutions with a view to influencing their behaviour. A separate form of policy implementation consists in initiatives for on-site inspections, or off-site supervision in response to facts learnt, or initiatives for regulatory changes. Internal responses may include changes to risk-measurement models. Furthermore, the NBS may respond to certain trends or risks by introducing new reporting requirements for financial institutions. Since some instruments, for example the countercyclical capital buffer, require quarterly review, the NBS will take decisions regarding macroprudential policy on a quarterly basis. However, it retains the option to change the policy whenever necessary.
6. What impact does macroprudential policy have on the economy?
Macroprudential policy has a direct impact on financial institutions. More stringent requirements or new duties increase financial institutions’ costs. Conversely, relaxing requirements lowers these costs. Increased costs can be transferred into prices or the affordability of services provided to clients and, therefore macroprudential policy can indirectly impact all financial market participants. These costs are easily apparent. On the other hand, macroprudential policy brings positive effects in the form of mitigating systemic risks, as well as making financial institutions more resilient. These benefits will later be experienced in the form of no or low costs connected with periods of financial or economic crisis. These positive effects will be felt only in the future and it is difficult to measure or visualise them in any way. It is thus a challenge for macroprudential policy to introduce at a time of growth, when vigilance is low and costs are apparent, measures whose benefits will be experienced only in the future and are not so apparent.
7. Can macroprudential policy decision-making be made transparent?
The NBS seeks to ensure that implementation of macroprudential policy is as transparent as possible. Financial market participants feel the application of instruments immediately, whilst positive impacts in the form of systemic risk mitigation are difficult to measure or visualise. Therefore, the NBS considers it of key importance that both the professional and lay public have a proper understanding of the implementation of macroprudential policy. The methodology for individual macroprudential policy instruments can be found in the section Financial stability instruments, including individual decisions.
8. What legislation underpins it?
At the European level macroprudential policy is defined primarily by Regulation (EU) No 1092/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on European Union macroprudential oversight of the financial system and establishing a European Systemic Risk Board, and two ESRB recommendations – Recommendation ESRB/2011/3 on the macroprudential mandate of national authorities and Recommendation ESRB/2013/1 on intermediate objectives and instruments of macroprudential policy. In Slovakia macroprudential policy is laid down mainly in the following laws:
- Act No 747/2004 Coll. on financial market supervision requires that macroprudential supervision be performed by the NBS and that the NBS, in the framework of this supervision, identify, monitor, assess and mitigate risks;
- Act No 566/1992 Coll. on the National Bank of Slovakia sets the NBS the general task of contributing to financial stability;
- The amendment to Act No 483/2001 Coll. on banks, implementing the CRD IV Directive and the CRR Regulation into Slovak legislation, grants the NBS powers to use legislative macroprudential policy instruments
9. What standing does it have in the European Union?
In the framework of the implementation of macroprudential policy at the European level, the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) was created in 2010. The ESRB’s mission is to contribute to the prevention or mitigation of systemic risks to financial stability in the Union that arise from developments within the financial system and taking into account macroeconomic developments, so as to avoid periods of widespread financial distress. Since its founding, the ESRB has issued two recommendations regarding the organisation of macroprudential policy in EU Member States. For those countries participating in the Single Supervisory Mechanism, responsibility for macroprudential policy is shared between the respective national authority and the ECB. National authorities have the power to fully implement policy, as defined in EU legislation. ECB decisions on macroprudential policy may only increase requirements above the framework of national authorities’ decisions. In other words, the ECB may intervene only in cases where it considers that the national authority has not acted sufficiently, but it cannot cancel or moderate national authorities’ decisions.
10. Where can I find current information on financial stability in Slovakia?
The current settings for each instrument can be found in the Financial stability instruments section. Financial Stability Reports, Macroprudential Commentaries, Analytical Commentaries and Research Studies are published in the Financial stability publications section. Selected indicators related to financial stability are published in the Data section. About financial stability section contains general theoretical information.
11. What are other systemically important banks?
Other systemically important banks (O-SIIs) are banks, which are relevant to domestic financial system and to domestic economy. Default of O-SIIs can significantly disrupt safe functioning of the financial sector and thus have negative consequences also for the real economy. For this reason, it is possible under the macroprudential policy to require O-SIIs to hold additional capital buffers, which should contribute to a higher resilience of these institutions and thus to strengthen financial stability. For the Slovak banking sector, the EBA methodology has been used to identify O-SIIs. Given the characteristics of the Slovak banking sector as well as the domestic economy, O-SIIs are required under decisions of NBS to hold additional capital buffers from 1 January 2016. More detailed methodological information is available here. The list of identified O-SIIs and the O-SII buffers rate for individual O-SIIs are reviewed annually.
Foreign exchange reference rates
ECB Exchange rate list
The NBS stopped to release its own exchange rates list after the euro entry on January 1, 2009 and began publish daily exchange rates of the European Central Bank on its website. The exchange rates are published in the Slovak language. Substantial difference between previously published exchange rates of the NBS and current ECB´s list is that it is published in the afternoon, after 16.00 p.m. and it is valid for the given day whereas the NBS was publishing the exchange rates one day in advance.
Payment services and electronic money
Why is a strong customer identification applied by payments and what does it practically mean?
Payment services provided electronically should be provided securely using technologies capable to guarantee a secure user authentication of the user and minimizing the risk of fraud. As fraud methods are constantly changing and the volume of fraudulent transactions is constantly increasing, the requirements for strong customer authentication should allow innovation in technical solutions in response to emerging threats to the security of electronic payments. Thus, strong customer authentication of the user is applied in practice by using two or more authentication elements from the following three categories when performing electronic payment operations on the Internet: a) knowledge - e.g. password, PIN, answers to agreed control questions, b) ownership - e.g. ownership of a device (usually a mobile phone) capable of generating (e.g. via a specialized authentication application) or receiving one-time passwords (e.g. via SMS) or signatures (tokens), c) characteristics of the payment card holder (inherence) - e.g. capture of biometric data in the form of fingerprint, voice, the geometry of the client's face. The individual elements should be independent of each other and designed in such a way that the disruption of one element does not impair the reliability of the other elements. Strong authentication, therefore, means that payment service providers that allow users to carry out payment transactions on the Internet are obliged to authenticate (verify the identity of) the payment service user with each payment through at least two of the above categories. If the identity of the payment service user is not correctly verified and does not fall under any of the exceptions to the strong authentication obligation, the payment will be declined. The transition to strong authentication of payment service users has been taking effect since 14 September 2019. The NBS and other supervisory authorities in the EU have agreed that in card transactions on the Internet (e-commerce payments) the fulfilment of this obligation will be supervised and required from 1. 1. 2021.
- Can a payment institution or electronic money institution get access to a payment system managed by the National Bank of Slovakia?
Where can I get reliable information on whether an entity disposes of a license for the provision of activities as a payment institution or of an electronic money institution?
A list of all licensed payment and electronic money institutions is maintained by the European Banking Authority and is available here.
- Would you like to carry out identification and client verification without his or her physical presence (so-called online onboarding of client)? How should we proceed from the point of view of AML rules?
- How can a company with an establishment in the UK, which disposes of authorization for the provision of payment services from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) provide these services in Slovakia?
What procedure should payment institution, AISP, limited extent services provider or limited provider follow, by account bookkeeping or by preparation of financial statements?
This issue falls within the competence of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic. We attach relevant information here.
- How long does it take to grant authorization/registration according to the Payment Services Act (service PISP and/or AISP)?
- As AISP/PISP we would like to provide services to higher territorial units. VÚC are mandatory clients of the State treasury which is the provider of payment services. Shall the State treasury obligation allow access to payment accounts, which are held to VÚC via a dedicated interface (API)?
What are the reporting and information obligations of AISP?
You will find a clear answer here.