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October 25, 2021

Isarescu: We must make sure that the state guarantee works

A condition in the “First House” governmental programme is the security in the execution of the guarantees, the governor of the National Bank, Mugur Isarescu, told a press conference, according to Agerpres.

“In the moment in which the banks have execution risks in case of non-payment, additional problemmes appear. These are the things with which we start: the simple scheme, you need to have guaranteed the fact that in case of non-payment the guarantee works immediately and you must execute the guarantee. The guarantee must be from the Fund, not to have a real estate guarantee,” Mugur Isarescu said at the beginning of the meeting of the Prime Minister Emil Boc with the bankers over the First House programme.

The public finance minister Gheorghe Pogea stressed that “we already have a well defined framework, having to establish absolutely all the technical conditions in order that a person that has to access this credit would know where to go, in what conditions he can take it up, and which are the obligations of each of the parties.”

PM Emil Boc stressed that the objective of the meeting is to establish the technical details for the enforcement of the First House programme at the soonest. The Executive adopted an emergency ordinance through which the object of activity of the Credit Guarantee Fund was extended, giving it the possibility to get involved in the First House programme, through which the state would guarantee a maximum value of a credit of up to EUR 60,000. The programme will become operational within 60 days.

Some of the criteria mentioned by the Government in order that a bank may be accepted in the programme are the representation with branches at national level, an advance payment of maximum 5 per cent of the value of the loan and interest rates below those which exist presently on the market for the mortgage loan. One of the measures against the crisis is the relaunching of the credits, and the First House programme could revive the Romanian banking market. The analysts consider that in order to enforce the First House programme it is necessary to modify the regulations and the norms of the Central Bank, considered by the bankers to be one of the small bancarization degrees in Romania.

Adrian Vasilescu, adviser to BNR Governor, reiterated the fact that BNR regulations are not those which slowed down the crediting in Romania.

The financial analyst Bogdan Baltazar warned that “the banks cannot modify the interest rate further to any pressure of the Government, if they don’t have the express authorization of BNR, through the modification of the crediting norms. Thus, regardless of the decree issued by the Government, the banks comply in their crediting practice with BNR norms. The central bank will have to be responsive to this programme, relax the crediting norms and allow a very small advance payment. Five per cent is almost unconceivable, this indebtedness degree through the norms that we mentioned issued last year is maximum 50 per cent, but now BNR must agree with an indebtedness degree of, let’s say, over maximum 70-75 per cent.”

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