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Parliament confirms head and four members of newly established Banking Supervisory Agency

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 21
Parliament confirmed Konstantine Sulamanidze as the head of the Financial Supervisory Agency, the body that was established since depriving the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) of its supervisory rights to the financial institutions of Georgia on September 3, this year.

Sulamanidze served as the CEO of the Tbilisi-based Progress Bank from 2009-2014. The bank was founded by Kakha Kaladze, who is now the Energy Minister.

Prior to Progress Bank, Sulamanidze spent three years at several management positions at Bank Republic, part of the Societe Generale Group.

Prior to the solution, Parliament confirmed four members out of five of the Banking Supervisory Agency on September 18.

The Government named Eprem Urumashvili, Irakli Kovzanadze, Ekaterine Galdava and Sasha Ternes as the agency board members; the last one will be named later, the majority said.

Kovzanadze, Galdava and Ternes have been confirmed as board members for a seven-year term and Urumashvili for five-year term.

According to the law, the Government can nominate five out of seven board members. Two other seats in the board will be taken by the president of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) and one more member of the NBG’s board.

Kovzanadze, who chaired the Georgia’s Partnership Fund, was named as a board chairman and the candidacy was conformed the same day by Parliament.

The new head of the fund still remains unclear.

There is speculation that the Georgian Dream majority leader Davit Saganelidze will replace Kovzanadze in the post in the state-owned Partnership Fund that co-invests in big projects in Georgia.

Parliament Speaker of Georgia Davit Usupashvili stated after the procedure in the legislative body that much would be dependent on the performance of the Agency.

“They should successfully continue the reforms launched in NBG, we are looking at the Agency with hope,” Usupashvili said.

The controversial NBG bill that envisaged separation of the supervisory functions from NBG was initiated by majority members and confirmed by Parliament in July 2015.

Since the criticism from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the opposition, President Giorgi Mrgvelashvili vetoed the bill, saying that it would have created a threat for the NBG's independence.

However, on September 3, the majority overrode the Presidential veto.