After centuries of subjugation by the Turks, Serbia won back its autonomy in 1830 and gained its independence in 1878. During this period, many of the most important institutions necessary for the development and progress of the country emerged. As a precursor to the National Bank and other banks, a state credit institution was established in 1862 - the Fund Administration - tasked with approving mortgages, lending to victims of natural disasters, and initiating trade and labour. The first Serbian bank started operating in Belgrade, in 1869, as a private monetary institution with foreign capital participation. In the following two years, three more banks were created: Beogradski Kreditni Zavod (Belgrade Credit Institute) (1870), Smederevska Kreditna Banka (Smederevo Credit Bank) (1871), and Valjevska Štedionica (Valjevo Savings Bank) (1871).
The Association of Banks was founded in Belgrade on 4 December 1921. The Founding Assembly session of the Association was held at Prometna Banka with the presence of 29 of the total of 39 monetary institutes that are the signatories to the Rules of the Association of Banks. The validity of this document was also confirmed by the signature of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mehmed Spaho, PhD. At the Assembly session, the Rules of the Association were adopted, and 18 members of the Board of Directors, 5 members of the Supervisory Board and 5 members of the Executive Board were elected. Mr Mihailo Dragičević, director of Prometna Banka, was appointed President of the Board of Directors.
Mr Kosta Cukić, Professor of Economics, Heidelberg Doctor of Philosophy, and the Minister of Finance of the Principality of Serbia between 1861 and 1868, is said to have laid the foundations of financial civilization in Serbia. Through knowledge and hard work he initiated a number of reform processes which improved not only the contemporary financial system, but also the overall economic system of Serbia - he worked towards the independence of Serbia’s monetary policy and directed it towards the European standards, he laid the foundations of the banking system, founded the national statistics department and carried out a thorough reform of the tax and customs systems.
The most well-known Minister of Finance in the financial history of Serbia is Mr Laza Paču, PhD. A physician by vocation, this financial genius, as the professional public called him, served as Minister of Finance for three terms in the period from 1904-1915. He was a proponent of a stable currency and financial discipline, a man of money and order, one of the strictest tax officers in Serbian history – he was revered and respected, as he healed and managed the finances in Serbia very successfully. He consolidated the budget of Serbia during his first term-of-office and maintained it stable until the end of the third term. Serbia was a country that emerged from the Pig War with Austria-Hungary (1906-1909) and the Balkan Wars (1912 and 1913) without a budget deficit.
One of the most well-liked and successful governors in the economic history of Serbia is certainly Dragoslav Avramović, PhD, creator of the Program of Monetary Reconstruction and Recovery of the Country's Economic System, whose implementation in 1994 saved the country from one of the greatest monetary disasters in human history. He managed to curb hyperinflation, which kept growing at an average monthly rate of 615.9% in the period between 1992 and the end of 1993, i.e. at the time of the introduction of the new dinar on 24 January 1994, the monthly growth rate had reached 330 million percent. He introduced a new dinar, which had 100% foreign exchange coverage and a 1: 1 parity against the German mark. The people nicknamed the new dinar “avramče”.
The Credit Bureau, established in 2004, is a register of the obligations of individuals and legal entities to creditors, and their regularity in meeting those obligations. Its members are all banks operating in Serbia, all leasing companies, mobile operators, state funds and agencies. The CB database contains data for about 5.5 million citizens and over 400,000 active or extinguished legal entities and entrepreneurs, i.e. all registered entities that have used at least one service of banks or leasing companies. The CB Reports can be withdrawn for legal entities and individuals, at bank offices throughout the country. Positive data refers to the data on liabilities arising from loans, leasing contracts and other financial liabilities, while negative data refers to the data on irregularities in the settlement of obligations.