Monthly Archive: August 2019

Foreign Currency Loans – Another Bank in Romania Offers Temporary Relief to its Franchisees

In Romania, Greek-owned Banca Romaneasca on Monday offered its French creditors a temporary easing, which can cancel their Swiss franc loans for three months at a rate of about 0.8% lower than hitherto.

The bank decided that over the next three months


It would base itself on the Libor franc, which currently stands at -0.954 percent (in the negative range), until the new value of the franc’s global Goodbank interest rate is announced on the London market.
In Romania, 75,000 retail customers of six banks were in difficulty due to the unexpected appreciation of the Swiss franc. Most of the banks involved have offered their franchisees temporary relief to a greater or lesser extent.

Offered its franchisees a temporary reduction of the interest rate

So far, E-Money Bank Romania has offered its franchisees a temporary reduction of the interest rate on installments by 1.5 per cent, Volksbank’s Romanian franchisees can pay their installments for three months at last year’s exchange rate,
According to the Mediafax news agency, nearly one-third of the 75,000 franc-denominated credit has been signed with Bancpost, which has not announced any measures yet. 24 percent of franchisees borrowed from Volksbank, 20 percent from Pirate Bank, 11 percent from Raiffeisen, 7 percent from Banca Romaneasca and two percent from E-Money.

On Sunday, a demonstration was organized by the Romanian Francophone Federation in Bucharest, demanding that loans be cut down. In a petition, the protesters urged the adoption of legislation that would allow foreign currency creditors to downgrade their loans at up to 20 percent higher than the original rate, without changing interest rates and the APR.

Want to make any solution binding on the banks

However, the Romanian government has said earlier that it does not want to make any solution binding on the banks.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) estimates that Romanian banks would experience a loss of nearly 4.3 billion lei (300 billion forints) if they swap their customers’ loans in Swiss francs at the exchange rate prevailing at the time of signing the loan agreement.
In Romania, barely 8.2 percent of the total retail loan portfolio – slightly more than Rs 100 billion – was raised in Swiss francs. More than half of the loans were taken out by Romanian bank customers in euros and around 40 percent in lei (MTI).

Foreign currency loans – Already in February installments the effect of HUF conversion is visible

According to Fidesz’s faction leader, February 1 is an extremely important turning point for foreign currency debtors, as according to the law on forint conversion, the installments for February must be paid at the fixed exchange rate.

Antal Rogán talked about this at his press conference in Budapest on Friday, pointing out that this is a huge gain for the creditors after the Swiss franc fluctuates around 310 HUF.

The leader of the pro-government faction recalled earlier


Parliamentary debates and presented a photo chart of opposition members who did not vote for the government’s proposal on forint conversion.
An average creditor, who borrowed $ 7 million over a 20-year term in 2007, had a repayment installment of $ 77,000 based on the December exchange rate, if he had not fixed the exchange rate at $ 256, he would have had to pay $ 93,000 from February. This saves him $ 180,000 a year, explains the leader of the group, who called the parliament’s decision courageous and responsible.

They made timely decisions on converting foreign currency loans into forint and settling accounts with banks, he said. He also pointed out that the ruling of the Constitutional Court (Ab) the previous day had made it clear that the banks’ time-delaying tactics had failed, Ab stated that they were in line with the Basic Law and that the implementation of the Bank Accountability Act could not be circumvented.
More than 1.3 million Hungarian families will get back a thousand billion forints, foreign currency borrowers in May, and forint borrowers in October-November.

He signaled that once the banks’ settlement had been completed

The current installment of HUF 77,000 would be around HUF 52-54,000 for an average foreign currency creditor, who did not require special government assistance. So the statement that the repayment installment of foreign currency loans will be reduced by 25-30 percent from May, he said.
Antal Rogán said the proposal to reduce the bank tax was first seen in the next year’s budget and that the banks would contribute to economic growth by increasing their lending. If this does not happen, it is very difficult to imagine a reduction. As lending begins to expand and economic growth returns to a sustained rate of more than 2 percent and around 3 percent, then the bank tax could be considered.

He said about any talks between the RTL and the government, if any, the details would be communicated to the head of government at a factional meeting, including plans for an advertising tax. “Until then, I have no other information,” said Antal Rogán.

Responding to the issue of resettlement bonds

He said that opposition parties were suddenly so powerful because the program seems to have been successful, bringing in more than five hundred million euros in cheap funds and yielding twenty billion forints in interest to the state.

I would like to see the former increase to one billion euros and increase interest rates, so they do not intend to change the program, which is transparent, the state only has revenue, he said, adding that these criticisms have been heard before. (MTI)