Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) senator Daniel Zamfir calls on the Romanian National Bank to decide for ROBOR to be calculated on the basis of the transactions being carried out, holding that the index at which the Romanians’ installments with credits in lei is calculated is “doctored” by an understanding between the commercial banks, with the National Bank of Romania (BNR)’s “direct knowledge and involvement”.
“The index for calculating the Romanians’ installments with credits in lei is arranged, it is doctored by an understanding between the commercial banks with the direct knowledge and involvement of the National Bank of Romania (…) I call on the National Bank of Romania to stop as of tomorrow this mechanism by which the ROBOR is calculated today, a mechanism that artificially inflates the Romanians’ installments. By the leverages that BNR has, it needs to establish for this ROBOR to be calculated on the basis of the transactions being carried out, because that is the real, market value at which transactions are carried out and not depending on quotations. (…) ROBOR is an understanding between the commercial banks, it is not the result of a free market, as BNR officials have so often explained to us. It is an understanding that is made to cover up the losses from the commercial banks’ financial speculations, losses that are put on the shoulders of those who have credits in lei,” the Chair of the Economic Committee of the Senate, Daniel Zamfir, told a press conference on Sunday.
He says that on January 29, hearings will be kicked off at the Senate Economic Committee, to which BNR Governor, Mugur Isarescu, the President of the Competition Council, Bogdan Chiritoiu, but also other stakeholders will be invited.
“The information I have will be the subject of hearings I intend to start at the Senate Economic Committee as of January 29, hearings to which the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, the President of the Competition Council and other stakeholders will be invited to provide explanations,” said Zamfir.
The senator maintains that he is in possession of documents that are the subject of an investigation that was launched in 2008 by the Competition Council.
“These documents, this investigation initiated by the Competition Council has been covered up for years, the investigation started in 2008, it ended in 2011. It ended with no resolutions, however, that is, things were not even taken any further with a view to sanctioning the deeds that were found here and neither was it classified for lack of evidence, it was simply covered up and kept in the drawer. Now, if DIICOT [the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism , ed.n.] thinks the deeds fall under its jurisdiction, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not good at it, I’m carrying out this demarche only with the public interest in mind,” Zamfir said.
He states that BNR can intervene to limit, to curtail the ROBOR course, but “intervenes whenever it wants and does not intervene when it does not want to.” “The question is, why does such a thing happen, does the National Bank have a political interest? When he wanted to help Basescu [former Romanian president, ed.n.], Mugur Isarescu intervened and kept ROBOR down, now that he does not like the Dancila Government, he cannot intervene?,” Daniel Zamfir concluded.
BNR spokesperson reacts to statements on ROBOR’s “doctoring”: Intentionally creates confusion, disqualifying
The spokesperson of the National Bank of Romania Dan Suciu, argues that the statements of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) senator Daniel Zamfir, according to which the ROBOR index is “doctored” with BNR’s “direct knowledge and involvement”, intentionally creates confusion, “which is disqualifying”, because it does not take into account the scope of activity defined by law for the National Bank.
“I do not understand how the National Bank has done such a thing [tampering with ROBOR, ed.n.], because I have not seen any arguments from Mr. Zamfir to support the manipulation. I assure everyone that at least to our knowledge, such assumptions about manipulation do not exist. Mr. Zamfir does not understand, does not want to understand or intentionally creates confusion, which is disqualifying, because he simply does not take into account the scope of activity defined by law for the National Bank, namely the monetary policy, which entails price stability, inflation control. This is done through the monetary policy interest, which in turn determines the ROBOR variation on different maturities. Not taking into account the bank’s scope, it is as if the role of the bank from the legal perspective is not recognized,” BNR spokesman Dan Suciu told AGERPRES on Sunday.
He added that such accusations come from the same two or three people, “who, for 3-4 years, have only attacked and created confusion, thus affecting financial stability.”
Asked if BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu will respond to the invitation made by the ALDE senator to attend the hearings in the Senate Economic Committee on January 29, Dan Suciu said BNR is open to discussion, but it depends on whether “real matters are brought to our attention.”
“BNR is always open to talks, but it depends very much if real matters are brought to our attention so that we can have something to talk about. Let’s see what real problems are being invoked,” Suciu said.