BUSINESS

Van Groningen, Raiffeisen: ‘Liquidity has never been an issue for us’

Raiffeisen gained major experience last year by taking over the retail portfolio of the American company Citi (EUR 90 million credits and EUR 175 million deposits) and continues to look at opportunities to purchase on the market as the organic growth still lacks support on the market, says Steven van Groningen, Raiffeisen Bank chairman, according to zf.ro.  “Actually it is quite a struggle to remain at the same level of credits because we have a lot of short-term credits which come to deadline and are hard to replace. It is important that we have now this exercise with Citi, but one has to have a good position for such transactions. You cannot run only three transactions a year,” said van Groningen. He added that such transaction represents more of a tactical move for Raiffeisen, as they are not in the position to buy something for survival.
Van Groningen is quite pleased with the level of integration of the portfolio taken over from Citi. “The transaction is a real success in point of transaction volumes. It is beyond expectations. The process has taken some time, but it went on smoothly.”
The demand for credits is the variable setting the destination of the amount in foreign currency Raiffeisen will possess after BNR decision to release EUR 500 million from their minimum mandatory reserves created by banks in foreign currency.  “Liquidity has never been an issue for us. The problem is the lack of appetite for credits. There are even smaller interest rates in the Euro area and yet we can see things are not moving. We need trust as well, not only small interests. If people knew they can expect higher wages, they would dare to open credit lines. I can’t wait to see some growth in trust which can be perceived in consumption, loaning, economic activity,” he said.

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