Raiffeisen tries to cut loan-deposit ratio from 120% to 100%

Publish date: 09-02-2009
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"There will be defaults, there will be foreclosures, but we also have loan restructuring products. (...)," says Razvan Munteanu (photo), Raiffeisen Bank vice-president in charge of retail. As interest rate hikes have been compounded by the steep RON decline, Munteanu says he foresees "a certain loan portfolio deterioration", but considerably below what stress tests indicated for such a decline.

As regards the factors sustaining RON depreciation, Munteanu believes that the shrinking financing Romanian banks receive from abroad is putting pressure on the exchange rate as players are now focusing on cutting external indebtedness. Raiffeisen is also trying to adjust its exposure depending on resources raised from the domestic market. "Our long-term intention is to bring lending to customers to the level of resources raised through our own deposits. Bringing the loan-deposit ratio to 100% from around 120% is a moderate adjustment, though," Munteanu said.

He says his bank continues to release mortgages (accounting for around half of the retail portfolio), but not as many as before. He also says Raiffeisen does not have any restructuring plan at present amid the visibly shrinking lending. "(...) I do not believe there's any sense in our closing now to reopen later," Munteanu said.

Ziarul Financiar

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