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February 8, 2023

Ponta: ‘Prudence’, Austrian chancellor’s word on banks’ withdrawal

PSD President Victor Ponta met with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann in Brussels on Sunday and, among other things he also addressed the subject of Austrian banks in Romania, the answer of whom was described as a ‘prudent’ one, Mediafax notes. ‘The answer was neither optimistic nor pessimistic. Austria is trying to keep its AAA rating and therefore needs to address its banks’ exposure in other countries. Their first problem is Hungary, but they are also going to look at the presence of banks in Romania and Bulgaria. He told me that he would do everything in the power of the Austrian Government to make sure that the intention of Austrian banks would not affect Austrian investment in Romania,’ Ponta said.

PDL politician Theodor Stolojan says in an interview for RFI that foreign banks are not going to pull out of Romania because this is ‘a very good market’.

‘Banks came to a completely virgin market from the point of view of banking services and have charged here all kinds of commissions and fees they would have never dared charge to customers in their countries of origins. They have, indeed, made some very good profits in Romania. They are not going to leave here because Romania still offers good business opportunities,’ he explained.

Adrian Vasilescu, adviser to the Governor of the Romanian National Bank Mugur Isarescu, has also commented on the subject recently, saying that he was quite sceptical about a withdrawal. ‘Raiffeisen has lent a lot of money here, it has offered loans against the ID, a lot of its money is with Romanians now. Their money is here: in Romanians’ homes, fridges, vehicles. They will want to take back this money,’ Vasilescu said. The central bank official also commented on President Basescu’s statement made on Thursday, on the fact that he wouldn’t like Romania to be made pay for the greediness of the banking system. Vasilescu said it was just an announcement and not a decision, a decree or a normative act. ‘The Romanian president spoke of a possible behaviour. (…) We have here several banks with Austrian capital. How could they withdraw? These are just statements, not decisions. Of course, they may come to such decisions eventually. However, Raiffeisen has here loans maturing in 10, 20 and 30 years from now,’ Vasilescu added on the president’s recent statements.

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