Includes special features of this country’s banking system and rules/laws that might impact U.S. business.
Last Published: 11/2/2017
Moldova’s banking system was set up in two tiers in 1991 around the time of the breakup of the USSR and currently comprises a central bank and 11 commercial banks.  The central bank licenses, supervises, and regulates the activity of financial institutions.

Moldova has four foreign banks; among them Societe Generale’s Mobiasbanca and Erste Bank’s BCR are the most well-known.  While Moldova’s regulatory landscape does not prevent banks from opening offices in other towns, most bank offices are concentrated in Chisinau, which is both the administrative and economic capital of Moldova.

In contrast to the West, banks still play a minor role in the country's economic development and business activity.  Moldova’s high credit risk and inflation rates determine the high interest rates on limited bank loans.  A persistent problem in the banking system is the insufficiency of funds with longer tenors.  The population often opens deposits for periods less than 12 months.  Loans and state treasury bills provide limited diversification for the banks’ assets because Moldova’s stock market remains underdeveloped and provides limited options for long-term investments.  As a result, banks have to rely on long-term credit lines from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other international financial institutions to lend long term.

Foreign investors' share in Moldovan banks' capital is around 81 percent, although ultimate beneficial ownership lack of clarity calls that statistic into question.  A crisis at three Moldovan banks, two of them being among the country’s top five, in late 2014 called into question the soundness of the banking system, which has yet to recover from the fallout.  Authorities responded by stregthening the independence of the regulating bodies and enhancing the tracking of bank shares.

As of January 1, 2017, total bank assets were MDL 72.95 billion (USD 3.66 billion). Moldova's three largest commercial banks account for around 64 percent of the total bank assets, as follows: Moldova Agroindbank: MDL 19.7 billion (USD 991 million); Moldindconbank: MDL 14.49 billion (USD 727 million); and Victoriabank: MDL 12.61 billion (USD 633 million). In a bid to prevent another bank crisis, the National Bank of Moldova instituted the procedure of special monitoring of these top three banks over concerns about the transparency of bank shareholders.

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Moldova Market Access Banks