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August 10, 2022

Half of Romanians are in debt and three quarters do not feel the moral obligation to pay the due amounts on time, according to the latest study conducted by KRUK Romania

KRUK Romania, the market leader in debt management, announces the results of the latest national study that reflects the attitudes, values, ​​and habits of Romanians regarding debts.

The research, conducted together with IRES in November 2021, was launched in Romania to mark the “Debt-Free Day” – an international initiative of the KRUK Group, carried out for the 11th consecutive year on November 17.

The study was intended to investigate the way Romanians perceive debt pressure in a year in which the effects of the pandemic keep the population indebted to an increasing extent but also considering that previous studies have shown that debt liability is low. The results of the 2021 study indicate that this cultural particularity persists. 47% of the Romanians that took part in the survey say that they have debts and 39% say that they do not pay them when they are due“, says Cosmina Marinescu, CEO of Kruk Romania.

The study shows that only 8% of Romanians pay their debts in a responsible way, while 77% do not feel any moral pressure if they do not pay their debts. In addition, 43% of the respondents do not consider that debts should be paid because it is fair, although three quarters of them believe that debtors are not reliable individuals.

Moreover, 88% would like to be rewarded for paying their debts on time, given that 39% of Romanians do not do so. Out of these, almost one third have exceeded the 30-day term. Furthermore, the study shows that payment is not a priority for 16% of the Romanians who have loans. 3% of Romanians still believe that nothing can happen to them if they do not pay their debts on time. “In other words, they do not know or understand the legal consequences, even less the ethical consequences, of failing to pay in due time and we have often crossed paths with the challenge of trying to explain to customers who refuse the amicable solutions that the going to court is the normal thing to do. That is why we invest in actions that increase awareness, such as the <Debt Free Day> campaign, through which we try to make Romanians more accountable with regard to debts so that they acknowledge and respect the legal and moral responsibility to pay debts on time. For this purpose, we also provide them with free tools for calculating the personal budget and managing their own debts, such as e-kruk.ro”, says Liviu Costică, COO KRUK Romania.

The study conducted by KRUK also shows that half of Romanians do not save money on a monthly basis but just as many have debts. Most Romanians choose banks as a means to save money, although 68% say they do not trust them. Only 1% would choose gold investments and only 2% would choose cryptocurrencies or the stock market. That is taking into consideration that about 40% of Romanians say they only have enough money for a decent living.

Therefore, the fear of banks and even other creditors that they will not get their money back is justified, believe the representatives of KRUK Romania. Even if obtaining a delay can feel like a mouthful of oxygen, the risk of non-payment persists.

The indebtedness level has increased this year by over 4%, both in terms of individuals (172 billion lei compared to the first quarter of last year) and legal entities (220 billion lei). A significant part of those who have to pay their installments – the most recent estimate mentioned 10% of deferred loans – will fall into the category of non-performing, for which banks have been or will have to make provisions. Personal loans and corporate loans in the affected sectors will probably be the most difficult to manage next year.

Compared to the level of 2008, before the economic crisis, official data that the population’s indebtedness level has increased by almost 50%, due to the increase in bank lending. The financial system expects a new wave of non-performing loans, generated by the health crisis. So far, the NBR data show that, at the end of the second quarter of this year, the level of the non-performing loans was 3.78%, compared to 3.94% at the end of June. The non-performing rate of non-financial companies that applied for the delay of installments was 12.3% in March this year, compared to 5.2% for companies that did not use moratoria. Insofar as the population is concerned, the values ​​were at 7.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

According to the Ministry of Finance, by the end of September 2020, the total balance of loans for which deferral requests were approved amounted to 42.9 billion lei (8.8 billion euros). The amount of these loans – contracted by approximately 558,000 borrowers – represents 14.7% of the total loans granted by the entire local banking sector.

Compared only to the KRUK portfolio, there were 1.5 million customers at the end of last year in the company’s database, with debts of about 17 billion lei (3.5 billion euros). This means 1.6% of GDP, given that the company covers about 30% of the debt management market and 25% of total employees.

The results of the study are representative at national, urban / rural level, on the active population between 18 and 65 years, in a margin of error of ±4%. The study can be downloaded in full here: ro.kruk.eu

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