In accordance with the communication of competent institutions so far, with the aim of preventing the coronavirus disease spreading, and in compliance with the measures undertaken at the level of the Republic of Croatia, the CNB has started the implementation of measures, which apply to its key tasks, employees, business processes and business premises, that basically ensure the smooth and regular performance of all the key functions of the Croatian central bank, as well as of credit institutions supervised by the CNB. The measures are simultaneously directed at minimising the risk of contagion with the COVID-19 virus and its spreading.
For the time being, the CNB applies measures aimed at maintaining critical business continuity of its key business processes, which includes their smooth performance, while at the same time minimising the operational risk of exposure to the coronavirus to the smallest possible measure. Critical business processes, by definition, are the processes that are operationally important at national level and fall within the exclusive, or almost exclusive, operational competence of the CNB. This refers to the payment operations function, which also includes the currency department operations, and the central banking operations function in charge of monetary policy implementation and international reserves and foreign currency liquidity management. These measures comprise the undertaking of organisational, administrative, technological, hygienic and other measures. Specifically, it has been ensured to the employees of the competent expert services of critical operational importance for the Republic of Croatia to continue carrying out their tasks under a special regime, which includes maintaining a separated and prolonged work in shifts, the times of arriving for and leaving from work and working from home with the use of the available IT technologies.
Upon need, the CNB will also apply appropriate and timely measures to ensure the continuity of work of the CNB Council, i.e. the continuity of operational decision-making at the level of the CNB.
Supervisory requirements sent to banks for the introduction of measures for a smooth and safe operation in epidemic conditions
Within its supervisory function, the CNB continuously monitors the operation of credit institutions with the main objective to maintain confidence in the banking system and promote and safeguard its safety and stability. Therefore, with the objective to ensure the preparedness of banks for increased risk of the coronavirus spreading, the CNB has sent a communication to all credit institutions with key supervisory requirements to review and, if necessary, update their business continuity and crisis management plans in order to ensure adequate preparedness for the potential negative impacts of the coronavirus spreading on business activities and risk exposure. In this context, credit institutions are expected to implement preventive measures against contagion spreading, ensure the appropriate technological and human resources for possible teleworking, implement the necessary activities for a smooth and safe functioning of the IT system, the ATM and EFTPOS networks and take into consideration any negative impacts on the other segments of operation, including credit operation. If increased risks are identified, credit institutions are expected to notify the CNB about it without delay.
With the aim to provide safety at work for CNB employees, as well as the protection of visitors to the CNB, i.e. to prevent further contagion spreading, the CNB has also undertaken the following measures:
- General preventive measures – increased availability of disinfectants; additionally displayed recommendations on frequent handwashing and maintaining the minimum distance from other persons; the recommendation to consult a doctor in the case of developing the characteristic symptoms, avoid and minimise as much as possible any contact with persons who have the characteristic symptoms; the recommendation to cancel private travel to the areas particularly affected by the coronavirus, the obligation for employees and visitors to the CNB premises to report any stays in the areas particularly affected by the coronavirus; upon need and based on the assessment of the CNB's competent expert services, the disinfection of business premises; continuously following the recommendations of competent institutions by all employees and competent expert services; and, upon need, the introduction of additional regulation of the compliance of employees and expert services with such recommendations.
- Additional preventive measures: the recommendation for CNB employees to postpone and cancel business travel abroad and any education; the recommendation to postpone or cancel conferences to be held in the CNB’s premises or organised by the CNB; the recommendation to minimise the number of meetings to be held in the CNB’s premises, and to hold such meetings – whenever possible – in the form of teleconferences and videoconferences.
The appropriateness of all of the adopted measures will be revised in the light of developing circumstances no later than by 30 April 2020, or earlier, if necessary.
In addition to the above-mentioned measures, the operation of the CNB and other members of the European System of Central Banks is additionally subject to the operational prevention measures implemented by the European Central Bank, which are identical to the measures undertaken by the CNB.