BNP Paribas Personal Finance SA Bucharest Branch, through its Cetelem trademark, conducted a study among the portfolio clients that aimed to measure the financial perception and behavior in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study, the overall impact felt by customers was high, 62% said that they had felt reppercusions. In terms of current financial behavior, the highest reported impact is on consumption, 66% of customers intending to adjust their spending. Of these, 33% said that they would like to save more, and 33% plan to reduce the amount spent.
„The first half of this year was a period under the sign of the unforeseen, of uncertainties, a period of rethinking priorities for many of us. The intentions of savings and consumption are certainly a barometer for assessing the impact of the pandemic on financial decisions. We considered it essential to have an overview of the perception and attitude of the over 650,000 customers in the current Cetelem portfolio, regarding the current context, post-emergency and during the alert state, but also in the next period. Thus we can support them with the best financial solutions, adapted to their needs, as we have done so far.
According to this study, we are still the first option for over two thirds of customers when considering a loan, which reconfirms our mission and goals. Even before the onset of the pandemic the saving trend was observed in the conclusions of the 2020 edition of the pan-European study L’Observatoire Cetelem. This study showed us that Romanians’ concern for savings was already 11% higher than in 2018, the most important growth in Europe, with over 18 percent above the EU average (69% vs. 51%), and the intention to spend more decreased compared to the previous year by 13 percent (50% in 2020 vs. 63% in 2019).
We can conclude that this direction towards reducing consumption has been accentuated in the context of COVID-19 “, says Simona Tărtăcuță, Marketing and Products Director
Attitude towards lending
The research conducted among the clients of BNP Paribas Personal Finance SA Bucharest Branch showed that almost two thirds of the respondents would feel comfortable accessing one form or another of credit: 33% would not have a problem accessing a medium-term loan for goods and services, 23% any type of credit and 14% would be fine with a long-term loan. 76% of people had a loan in the last year, the majority (47%) choosing the personal needs loan and a term of five years as the preferred credit period (49%). 30% of those who have stated that they intend to apply for a loan in the next 12 months prefer personal loans.
70% of the respondents state that they needed to make purchases in the last three years that they could not have afforded only through their own resources, and 67% of them used a credit to cover the full amount. Among the goods most frequently bought by customers there are large appliances and air conditioners (31%), electronic appliances (TV, radio, media players), IT equipment (25%) and products for home repairs or maintenance (24%).
The impact of the COVID-19 context on the financial behavior
Regarding the categories of products that they will buy more than usual, we notice that the preference for hygiene products (31%) and food products (28%) is maintained, these products being purchased in larger quantities against the background of increased uncertainty from the beginning of the pandemic. The same happens in the case for the household appliances category, 14% of respondents stating that they will invest more in these types of products that equip the home universe.
And the choice of payment method will be different. According to the answers received, 18% of the participants in the study intend to make their purchases online, and 36% will use the Internet much more frequently than in the period before the pandemic.
The BNP Paribas Personal Finance study conducted in July this year by D&D Research among the bank’s clients aimed to measure financial perception and behavior in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research included a sample of 405 people interviewed by telephone, with aged between 18-65 years old.
The 2020 edition of the Pan-European study “L’Observatoire Cetelem” set out to observe the changes in the behavior of European buyers regarding the reduction of resource consumption by adopting a responsible attitude. L’Observatoire Cetelem 2020 was conducted in 15 European countries, on a sample of 14,200 people interviewed online between the ages of 18 and 75. In Romania, the study was based on a sample of 800 respondents.