Publicat în 4 noiembrie 2015, 17:00 / 266 elite & idei

Sergiu Oprescu: Romanian banking system has 18pct solvency ratio, one of region’s highest

Sergiu Oprescu: Romanian banking system has 18pct solvency ratio, one of region’s highest

The Romanian banking system has an 18 percent solvency ratio, being one of the highest in the region, and for the first time in 2015, there is an increase in the non-governmental loan, Romanian Banking Association (ARB) Board Chairman and Alpha Bank Romania CEO Sergiu Oprescu told a specialist conference on Wednesday.

„The Romanian banking system proved to be very resilient during this period. We may say that the solvency ratio in the Romanian banking system is one of the highest, if not the highest in the region, standing at 18 percent. We are among the few European banking systems that have never needed money from the government. The system has contributed to the economic development on its own. Some may argue that politics arrested the development of the banking system. There is a certain level of high competition in the Romanian banking system. The Romanian banking sector has begun to contribute increasingly more to the Romanian economy. For the first time, in 2015, we see the non-governmental loan increase in the entire Romanian banking system. It means such crediting is expanding on the market. Corporate loans are also on the rise,” Oprescu said.

The ARB executive also pointed out that the segment of mortgage loans will continue to grow in the coming years, from their current market share of 10 percent.

„The segment represented by mortgage loans will increase, which has been happening for 4-5 years. It has a market share of 10 percent and it is the only segment of the non-governmental loan that has increased and will continue to grow. We are optimistic about the mortgage credit in Romania. I have recently been to Parliament and obtained the final resolution of the budget-finance committee on asset-backed securities, because asset financing sources will increase. This makes us connected to the European capital markets and will allow us grow even more. We must pay attention to this and to a balance that we must have. In the first place, there is always much consumer protection, but when you start realising how consumer protection is supported, you find that it undermines their protection. Romania will be able to attract capital as much as it needs to support Romania’s economic growth,” the ARB chairman said.

Oprescu added that the shift in customer behaviour, non-performing loans, over-regulation and competition from non-banking institutions represent a part of the pillars with significant impact on the Romanian banking system.

„In my opinion, three things have had an impact on us. The first is represented by non-performing loans, the shift in customer behaviour and the new ways of risk management, plus corporate governance. All this meant challenges and the banking system had to adjust on the regulated basis. Secondly, we reach a point where we over-regulate. Each time a crisis emerges, we tend to overprotect. I hope that we will have the wisdom, in Romania, to have a fair structure between the regulation level and innovation. I also put myself in the customers’ shoes, who come to the bank and want to exercise their customer rights. Banks are however constraint by the new regulation system. A third pillar is continual competition from related activities, and here I include non-financial banking entities. These take a part of what used to be the banks’ job. I personally, don’t fight against these entities. I feel that this competition will help us, the banking system, be constructive. There will come a time when ‘shadow banking’ will be regulated. From the customers’ point of view it won’t matter what the banking sector or the non-banking entities will do,” Oprescu explained.

The Romanian Banking Association (ARB) on Wednesday organised the 6th edition of SWIFT Business Forum Romania, an event for the management and staff of the departments of operations, payments and reimbursement, treasury, capital markets and compliance of credit institutions, financial investment companies, issuers of financial instruments, as well as customers of bank and finance institutions. AGERPRES

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