* Radu Ghetea: Loans’ RON-conversion could be unconstitutional
The conversion of loans into RON-denominated loans through a law could create an imbalance and be unconstitutional irrespective of the foreign currency they are converted from, Romanian Banking Association (ARB) and CEC Bank President Radu Gratian Gherea stated on Wednesday at a special conference.
“In what concerns the proposals to convert forex-denominated loans into RON-denominated loans, ARB has called on BNR ever since last year. We received BNR’s support in order to conduct an impact assessment on this issue. The assessment is not encouraging at all in what concerns the effects on the banking system. The results are not public and we, the ARB, have sent them to Parliament. I believe the answer given by Mr. Cinteza, who said that the impact would be fairly unpleasant and the banks could have pretty serious problems, is relevant,” Ghetea stated.
The ARB official also referred to the Romanians that contracted RON-denominated loans and who paid more at one point, but also to the fact that in his opinion the Swiss authorities will take measures in order to calm the situation.
“ARB’s position was expressed the other days and it referred to the fact that the banks that offered Swiss Franc-denominated loans and their clients should mutually agree on solutions. We don’t have to make laws for this. The banks are willing to negotiate… We cannot afford to apply loan conversion in any way other than the way the European Union recommends through a Directive, namely the conversion of loans should start in February 2016. We shouldn’t rush,” Radu Gratian Ghetea explained.