In August 2016, the PMA issued its Financial Stability Report 2015, which reviews and analyzes various types of risks that face the Palestinian financial system's banking and non-banking financial institutions (the latter comprising specialized lending institutions; money changers; and the securities, insurance, and mortgage and financial leasing sectors). In addition to attending to monetary stability (price stability), the PMA takes responsibility for financial stability in Palestine. This constitutes a primary goal of PMA, the sole party authorized to ensure the soundness of the Palestinian financial system, and oversee the payment-service providers and the payments system at large. This report calls for bolstering financial stability by enhancing the financial sector’s capacity to deal with risks; ensuring banks' capital adequacy, and fostering efficient competencies and work methods. This will enable the financial sector achieve its mid-and long-term objectives, including the promotion of economic growth and sustainable development by facilitating easy flow of funds between households, corporations and the government as well as between citizens and the rest of the world.
In the foreword to the report PMA Governor, H. E. Azzam Shawwa, emphasized that the measures PMA undertook underlie the good performance of the Palestinian banking system, the backbone of the financial system. This was most clearly evidenced by the system’s financial indicators, such as the growth in banks' assets and their improved quality, and their enhanced ability to withstand expected and unexpected risks.
H.E. the Governor added that despite the good performance and the robustness of the Palestinian banking system, PMA remains well aware of the magnitude of the risks threatening the stability of the banking system, which are to a large degree related to the peculiarity of the Palestinian situation. He pointed that the PMA has continued to monitor risks to financial stability, in particular those posed by: (i) the indebtedness of the Palestinian government and its employees to the banking sector; (ii) the relative size of private sector consumption and real estate bank loans to total private sector's bank credit portfolio; (iii) the relative size of all Palestinian banks' placements abroad compared to their total placement portfolio, and (iv) the exchange rates for currencies in circulation in Palestine. Governor Shawwa affirmed that the PMA closely monitors these risks and challenges and makes relentless efforts to take the appropriate preventive measures to mitigate their repercussions.
The Financial Stability Report, 2015 falls into seven chapters that include: a review of recent global and local economic developments; and an analytical account of the main developments in the Palestinian financial sector and their potential impact on the sector's financial stability. The report also reviews PMA’s efforts and actions to maintain financial stability, reinforce the banking system’s infrastructure, and preserve customer trust in banks. To this end, the PMA has taken steps to consolidate the financial system's legal, supervisory and infrastructural frameworks by various actions, including establishing the national electronic switch, finalizing bank account standardization in the IBAN format, upgrading automated clearance, promoting an up-to-date credit information system, and introducing the Geographical Information System (GIS).
The report can be accessed by clicking here.