BUSINESS

BCR sees credit activity increase in 2011

Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) has a mortgage credits portfolio that exceeds EUR 1.5 bln, accounting for 30 pc of the retail segment. BCR CEO Dominic Bruynseels said Friday that customer loans worth EUR 120 M have been refinanced with other banks, but did not mention the number of customers that resorted to this operation., Mediafax reports.


The BCR official however mentioned that he anticipates for 2011 a 5-8 pc increase of corporate crediting, while consumer loans will grow by about 5 pc. Referring to Ordinance (OUG) 50, Bruynseels said there are some provisions concerning the consumer crediting are “very good,” such as the cancellation of the early repayment commission. “When people will have money and confidence in their jobs, they will start spending once again. And I don’t expect this to happen before the middle of next year,” Bruynseels explained.


Bruynseels added that enforcing OUG 50 on the transparency of consumer loan contracts must keep a balance between the protection of consumers and the general interest of the economy. According to BCR officials, Romania should concentrate on using the EUR 30 bln provided by the EU as structural funds, and on restarting privatisations in 2011. “European funds must be used to keep the economy in motion,” Bruynseels explained. He identified exports as the main driver of economic recovery.


On the other hand, the CEO of BCR moved to the defense of bank employees, after BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu said many bankers don’t even know how to read a balance sheet. According to Bruynseels, the same as in other banks, in BCR too the staff is specialised on various operations and 1,500 employees at most should know how to read the balance sheet of a company.


In the future too, BCR will focus on the segments where it has a competitive advantage and expertise (the bank controls 76 pc of the municipal credit market, 46 pc of the asset management market and 28 pc of the market of SME loans). In a different move, BCR’s majority shareholder, Austrian group Erste announced that it was awarded as ‘Bank of the Year in Central and Eastern Europe’ by the international financial magazine ‘The Banker,’ part of the ‘Financial Times’ group, in a ceremony held at the end of last week, in London.

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