Analysts: Swiss franc loans to be refinanced in euro and leiPublish date: 20-10-2008
Swiss franc-denominated loans, which made up some 15 percent of total population loans, were excluded from offers by banks, as this is the loan product most affected by the implementation of restrictive lending regulations imposed by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) and by the international crisis.
Romanians who took out Swiss franc-denominated loans can refinance their loans in euro or lei, due to the rise in costs, say analysts.
Five players, Volksbank, Piraeus Bank, Credit Europe Bank, Banca Romaneasca and Millennium Bank, put an end to Swiss franc-denominated loans, while Raiffeisen Bank and OTP Bank decided to limit these, saying that these now involve similar costs as euro-denominated loans. "The total balance of Swiss franc loans is some €2 billion. Of total loans in other currencies, excepting euro, loans in Swiss francs made up 95 percent, with most of these loans consumer-type. One of the reasons banks gave up Swiss franc-denominated loans is because the foreign currency risk will exceed 25 percent once BNR's regulations go into effect, compared to the euro, thus cancelling the interest differential," according to a statement for Business Standard by Lucian Anghel, Chief Analyst of Banca Comerciala Romania (BCR), a lender which does not offer Swiss franc-denominated loans.
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