Prime Minister Mihai Tudose stated on Thursday that the National Bank of Romania (BNR) should have been more careful in respect to the situation of banks and give a first warning signal, in the context in which it can influence the legislation in the area.
“I want banks to pay their taxes to the state. All of them. Half of them are very serious, they understood what’s this about, they understood it long ago. The other half is still trying to convince us that they don’t make any profit. It doesn’t work! I don’t find it normal to call yourself a bank that doesn’t make a profit,” the PM told Digi 24 private broadcaster.
When asked what are the banks with problems, the PM said he cannot say their names, because there is an ongoing series of investigations that the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) is conducting. The PM also mentioned that he hasn’t talked to BNR about this issue.
“I haven’t talked to BNR because I (…) believe that BNR must be more careful. BNR says today that banks have observed the legislation, BNR is one of the main factors that can influence the legislation in the area and it must be the first to trigger a warning signal, such as : ‘Mr, look what it’s happening in our system! It has holes and allows some money to leak through there. Let’s do something together!.’ But no. BNR came out and tried to tell us they did nothing wrong [the banks], they just took advantage of the legal framework,” the PM added.
Tudose also said that the BNR and the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) represents supreme bodies watching the situation of banks, mentioning, though, that ASF was more newly established.
“They should have been careful to what is happening in the banking segment and not the old lady who takes her pension to the bank,” he claimed.
“Pillar II might become optional”
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose has made an announcement that pillar II will not be eliminated, but it might become optional, in exchange, with a comparative analysis to be made public, so that Romanians be able to take the best decision for their pension.
He mentioned that no decision has been made yet with respect to this, considering that the analysis is still under way.
“Right now, the Ministry of Finance, together with the Pensions House, and the ASF [Financial Supervisory Authority] are working on an analysis for pillar I and pillar II, to see with which pillar the Romanians’ money are doing best. I tell you this for the first time that I believe the solution will be to announce the population, depending on their wage level, where it will be best for them to place their money: with pillar I, with pillar II, all with pillar I or just continue as before. But it becomes optional. Optional meaning that you can only switch from pillar II to pillar I, for the other way round is not possible. No one will eliminate pillar II, no one will nationalize it, no one will do any harm to it. No one will torment it, no one will mutilate it. It will just be optional,” Mihai Tudose told Digi 24.
Tudose also said that he maintains his statement that pillar I is the best performing also in respect to the minimum wage and that there are calculations confirming this.
“There was this analysis made, based on a first information that got confirmed, that there were some management fees collected – instead of taking them during the first year and that’s it, they took them for about ten years – which means that out of the seven billions Romanians had stocked in pillar II, one billion went to the management. (…) The Romanians will have the big picture in front of them to see: “Ok, Mr., this is my contribution, worth … this is where I get the pension point from, while this is where I just get that yield from,” he specified.