From the beginning of the 1970s until the last global financial and economic crisis in 2008 - 2009, neo-liberal ideas guided economic policy development. It is worth noting that the Central and Eastern European countries transformed their economies from centrally planned to a market type at the peak of the liberal policies. Bulgaria offers a particularly interesting example because the country encountered a very difficult transition from one extreme of an economic system organization to another. The paper considers the reforms in the Bulgarian banking sector during the transition period from a centrally planned to a market type economy (from 1989 onward) through the implementation of neo-liberal policies. The development of the banking sector and its transformation is analyzed throughout the two main periods: before and after the transition. The latter is divided into two sub-periods (phases) beginning with the early 1990s, followed by the financial and bank crisis in the country, the introduction of a currency board regime in 1997, and stabilization, and ending with the global crisis in 2008 - 2009. This article summarizes that during the transition period, a modern banking system was established to accumulate profit rather than to promote economic growth. Following a chronological order, the negative effects of the liberalization of the Bulgarian banking sector are specified: the exportation of ownership (and control) upon banking system assets, unfair asset redistribution, the emergence of the local oligarchy, the weak protection of the taxpayers and others.
neo-liberal policies transition from centrally planned to a market type economy financial sector Bulgarian banking system