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January 31, 2023

Rusanu to head newly established Financial Supervisory Authority

The candidates for the 17 leading positions and members of the Board of the newly set up ASF were interviewed by the specialised Parliament committees yesterday, with the final vote in Parliament expected today.

The law setting up the Authority was promulgated by President Basescu yesterday afternoon.

The Liberals and Dan Radu Rusanu said their farewells ‘with an aching heart’, as PNL President Crin Antonescu said, their colleague having been designated to head the Financial Supervisory Authority in the next five years, as Chairman. So far head of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and head of the PNL political group in the same Chamber, Radu Rusanu will be aided by his former PNL colleague at the Ministry of Finance, Daniel Daianu as First Deputy Chairman. Last December, the Government adopted an emergency ordinance abrogating all supervisory authorities in the financial field, except those reporting to the central bank, and transferred the entire staff of the National Securities Committee, Insurance Supervisory Committee and Private Pensions Supervisory Committee to the Financial Supervisory Authority.

In the recitals of the normative act, the Government explained the urgency of the decision by various malfunction identified especially lately in the activity in the securities and insurance markets, calling for legislative measures for an effective sector supervisory activity outside the area of competence of the central bank. ASF will be headed by a board of 17 members, including a chairman and three deputy chairmen. According to the political algorithm, 10 seats on the board go to USL, 3 to PDL and PPDD and UDMR get two each. The respective Budget and Finance and Economic Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate met in session to interview the candidates yesterday afternoon. The candidates for Vice President are Daniel Tudor, Mircea Ursache and Ion Giurescu. They will be in charge of the fields so far managed by the Board of the Private Pension System Supervisory Committee (CSSPP), Insurance Supervisory Committee (CSM) and National Securities Committee (CNVM). A total of 12 MPs run for a seat as regular member of the Board and six as acting members. Under the law, the new ASF Board members are appointed for a period of five years, with the possibility of a renewal of the term.

President Traian Basescu said on Tuesday, in Craiova, that, in the afternoon, he would promulgate the law setting up ASF and reminded that the act had been returned once to Parliament for re-examination. ‘I cannot return it again, because, under the Constitution, I must promulgate it’, he said. Back in Bucharest later on, Basescu okayed the law.

An IMF request

During hearings in committees, Dan Radu Rusanu explained that the merger of CSA, CNVM and CSSPP into ASF was demanded in the letter of intent with the IMF. “Thus, the letter of intent that will leave for the IMF Board in June, this must be one of the points which must be checked, I mean the forming of the ASF,” Rusanu explained. According to the same source, the Authority will become operational on April 30.

Rusanu added that merging the three entities (CSA, CNVM, CSSPP) into ASF will allow improving the collaboration, coordination and exchange of information on the non-banking market, as the new structure will have a single leadership.The PNL deputy also mentioned that Romania’s development is about economic growth, with ASF and BNR jointly securing the macro-economic equilibriums.According to Rusanu, the non-banking market supervised by the Authority amounts to EUR 10-15 bln. He claims that this market can develop in the conditions of a substantial increase of the economy. Rusanu avoided commenting the accusations recently made by some trade unionists that he belongs to a group of related people, which replace each other as chiefs of financial institutions – the accusations being fuelled by the fact that his godson Gelu Diaconu was proposed as chief of ANAF.In his turn, Daniel Daianu said during hearings that regulating financial markets is necessary in relation with “the bitter lesson” taught by the crisis to the principle that markets can self-regulate. He also pleaded in favour of returning to a different logic of how the system operates, respectively a prudential regulation and supervision that takes into account what has happened during the last years, especially in an economy hit by crisis.All the 17 candidates were validated by Committees yesterday and will come in front of the joint Houses of the Parliament for the final vote.Yesterday, after the cabinet meeting, PM Ponta was expected to announce the name of the future chief of the Tax Authority, as he promised Monday, after a meeting of USL. Answering a question about Gelu Stefan Diaconu, whose name was alleged as the next chief of ANAF, Ponta said that he is one of those who could be appointed to this office. In his turn, the president of PNL, Crin Antonescu gave an affirmative answer when asked if PNL supports Diaconu for the top position with ANAF.

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