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International Cooperation

 
The main priority of the Financial Supervision Commission in relation to the international cooperation is connected with association of the Bulgarian non-banking sector to the single European financial market. Since the beginning of 2011 the Financial Supervision Commission has been participating in the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS). This system covers all national banks and supervisory bodies in the non-banking financial sector, as well as the European authorities – ESMA, EIOPA, EBA and ESRB. The ESFS participants collaborate with each other trustfully and behaving with mutual respect. The supervisory bodies participating in the ESFS are obliged to perform supervision over financial market participants acting in the EU and in conformity with the European legislation. In its capacity of state body to whose power belongs the supervision of the non-banking financial sector in the Republic of Bulgaria, the FSC is member of three of the four European authorities, namely ESMA, EIOPA and ESRB.

As an integral part of the global network of financial supervisory authorities, FSC participates in multitude of international organizations. In its capacity of an active member, the Commission is involved in the development of standards and good practices in the whole non-banking financial sector.

The FSC is active member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), as well as member and co-founder of the International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). The FSC representatives participate in the respective fora of the organizations in question, as well as in the joint working groups developing best practices in the field of supervision of investment, insurance and social insurance markets. The FSC is also member of the Francophone Institute of Financial Regulation (IFREFI).

In 2009, the Chairman of FSC signed the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation and Exchange of Information of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Commission thus achieving one of its most important international objectives. The Memorandum is international recognition for a quality supervisory framework in the securities field and allows the authorities that have signed it to exchange supervisory information between themselves and thus to prosecute and detect legal offences outside the borders of their own jurisdiction. This possibility is of particular importance for the supervision in the conditions of globalizing financial markets. After a detailed examination of the Bulgarian legislation and the FSC’s supervisory practices, the IOSCO Screening Group delivered a positive opinion and extended an invitation to FSC to join the Memorandum.

With the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) more stringent requirements for collection and treatment of personal data including as regards their provision to third states have been introduced. In order to secure continuance of the legal exchange of information with third countries through bringing in line the IOSCO Memorandum with GDPR, a draft of administrative agreement has been compiled which has been approved by both the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection. As consequence of it, 0n 11 of April 2019 the FSC has signed a multilateral administrative agreement for transfer of data in compliance with art.46, s.3 of GDPR.

In 2016, the FSC signed the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) after having successfully conducted respective negotiations for exchange of information. In this way, the FSC significantly augmented its options in the field of international cooperation and exchange of information for the purpose of an adequate and effective financial supervision, as well as for a more efficient protection of the rights of insurance services consumers. After joining the memorandum, the FSC disposes of possibility to exchange supervisory information with 61 (sixty-one) supervisory bodies which are parties to this memorandum, in case of cross-border issues concerning insurance activities performance. Being part to the memorandum in question the FSC has been reinforcing its positions of internationally recognized national institution whose rules of work are in compliance not only with the European standards, but with the high-ranking international standards too.

As an institution responsible for the state policy in the field of the non-banking financial sector, FSC participates actively in the formulation of the Bulgarian position in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and in the preparation of the agreements along the lines of the World Trade Organization. Subsequently, FSC monitors the fulfilment of Bulgaria’s commitments, which are in the Commission’s competence.
FSC is also a partner with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) within the Global Pension Statistics project, run by OECD, providing periodically detailed statistical data about the supplementary pension insurance in Bulgaria. Since 2019, the FSC actively participates in the process of accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the OECD and to its Codes of liberalisation, which is primary purpose of the foreign policy of the Republic of Bulgaria. The Commission participates in a rash of initiatives and working groups of OECD in the area of macroeconomic analysis and prognosis, financial regulations and financial literacy.

Another major priority of the Financial Supervision Commission, even as early as its establishment in 2003, has been the cooperation with all states on the Balkan Peninsular. This cooperation involves both the conducting of trainings on the FSC’s side under different projects, directed to strengthening of the administrative capacity of the relevant institutions in the other states, as well as in initiatives for conclusion of Memorandums for exchange of information with the states in the region. Furthermore, FSC has always expressed its willingness to assist upon each request for arranging visits for experience exchange and training of other supervisory authorities from the near countries.