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April 13, 2021

ARB: Volume of crediting to grow by up to 5 pc over the next year

Crediting will grow over the next year by up to 5 per cent, on balance, provided the interest rates are stable, Romanian Banking Association (ARB) President Sergiu Oprescu stated, zf.ro informs.

The balance of loans is still below the level registered in 2008, but the President of ARB states that the “good and positive side” is the resumption of crediting, including on the consumer credits segment which slumped starting in 2009.

Aggregate crediting registered its first positive annual evolution since February 2013 back in August this year, namely a growth of 0.2 per cent, the dynamic being influenced by the 27 per cent growth in RON-denominated loans to a historic high of RON 105 bln.

Oprescu claims that banks are not engaged in a fight with clients, this being a partnership instead, the recognition of mistakes made and the changing of this perception being required. At ARB level, bankers want to intensify communication and to better explain to their clients and to the general public what banking means, in order to emphasize the two parties’ interests.

In recent years the banking system has been affected by the growth in the number of lawsuits concerning crediting contracts, revealing that far too few clients knew what they were signing up to when contracting a loan – both because of the banks that resorted to abusive clauses with deceivingly presented terms, but also because of the clients’ superficiality. The strong appreciation of the Swiss Franc early this year also created tensions between clients with CHF-denominated loans and bankers.

The impact of the economic downturn was hard to digest by credit institutions, which were mostly in the red. Last year the banking system registered record losses of approximately RON 4.4 bln (EUR 1 bln) but it bounced back to profit in H1 this year, reporting earnings of approximately RON 1.2 bln.

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