croatian_national_bank - HNB.jpg
Photograph: hr.wikipedia.org

The Croatian National Bank (HNB) said on Monday that it ranked among Europe's economical central banks which at the same time operated successfully, although this was not its main task, and that its work was subject to a strict audit.

Asked by Hina to comment on recent objections about the economy and costs of its work, the HNB said it had below-average operating costs and above-average profits in the European Union.

Although profit is not the objective of central banks' activity, the HNB's is among the highest if compared to its assets or to GDP, and in 2014 the HNB generated a profit of 0.8 percent of GDP, with only the central banks of the Czech Republic, Ireland and Cyprus posting higher profits, the HNB said.

The HNB's operating costs are 0.09% of GDP and if compared to countries with a relatively similar population, such as Latvia (0.15% of GDP), Bulgaria (0.12%), Ireland and Lithuania (0.11%), Austria and Slovakia (0.1%), Hungary (0.09%) and Slovenia (0.08%), it is evident that the HNB ranks among the more economical central banks, the bank said.

If one looks at the absolute operating cost per employee, among the comparable countries, only Bulgaria's central bank has lower costs than the HNB, while the HNB's costs are similar to those in Romania and the Czech Republic, and lower than in Hungary and Poland, the bank said.

Regarding demands that the State Audit Office inspect the its operations, the HNB recalled that under a 2001 law the bank was independent and that it was audited by an external auditor approved by the parliamentary finance committee. The HNB added that parliament had all the information and instruments to request audit reports if it deemed it necessary.

The bank said that for additional transparency, it had set up an external audit committee to assess the work of the independent external auditor. A State Audit Office inspection would contribute to higher transparency if it were to assess if Croatia has an efficient, economical and effective central bank based on its operating costs, the HNB said.

The HNB went on to say that it was not financed from the government budget but revenues generated from activities defined by law, including international reserves management, bank supervision and money issue, and that it earned enough to cover operating costs and transfers to the Finance Ministry in conditions of historically lowest interest rates and negative euro rates.

It does that through good finance management, notably by buying long term securities since 2011, which extended portfolio maturity and resulted in a HRK 1.8 billion revenue increase in the 2012-15 period, all of which was transferred to the Finance Ministry, the HNB said. It added that since 2012 decisions were made to increase the same portfolio and extend its maturity, thereby ensuring stable revenues in the years from 2016 onwards.

(EUR 1 = HRK 7.56)

Related stories

ECB urges HNB audit be done in non-political, independent way

HNB revises upward Croatia's growth to 2.3% in 2016

HDZ MP accuses central bank of destroying small banks

Central bank pays HRK 483 mln into state budget

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.