Banks will start to grant credits at increased level hardly in springPublish date: 21-04-2009
The mix formed by the financial crisis and the new regulation of the National Bank concerning the loans seem to be fatal for the crediting system in Romania. Even the bankers recognize it and they appreciate that if those two events hadn't taken place in the same time, the loaning wouldn't have frozen, it would have just slowed down. October is considered one of the blackest periods since the post Decembrist loaning period, and November or the following three months don't seem to be different.
It's difficult to say what has affected more the crediting system in Romania: the international financial crisis or the new regulations imposed by the National Bank of Romania. The bankers say that it would have been better if those two events hadn't taken place concomitantly. And because the crisis can't be controlled or scheduled, the new loaning regulations are the ones that should have been postponed. On these terms we would have probably assisted to a slow down of loaning and not to a frozen of it, how it is already happening. Despite the fact that some credit institutions aren't promoting anymore their products, accessing a credit is a real luxury in Romania. Most of the banks have stopped long time ago granting credits in Swiss francs or even in dollars or euro. In what concerns the credits in lei, these have significantly risen in price during the past weeks. "In October, the loaning activity has purely frozen. How many Romanians ask for a credit and obtain it? It's much too early to draw conclusions. This wave of loaning restrictions is has just started.
There is a prudentiality tendency manifested both in banks and by applicants that I consider it would strengthen during the next period", Raulca Dobre, financial analysts at IpoteciDirect says. Even if the banks have somehow retaken their activity they are being more cautious than ever. "So, at the moment the banks grant credits, but with a low indebt level, from 70 to 40-35%, mandatory minimum advance in case of the mortgage credits and diminish of the financing share to 50% of guarantees. Some banks have cancelled certain income categories, such as the ones derived by rents, bonuses, lunch tickets, dividends or the ones obtained from abroad. In this context, many applicants are in the situation in which they aren't eligible for taking the sums previously promised by the banks or they aren't eligible at all for taking the credit. For taking the promised value or for increasing the chances to obtain the credit, the applicants must reorient to bring join debtors or to increase the loaning period", Raluca Dobre added.
The experts say that during this period it will calm down the frenzy of the last two years for accessing a credit. "We estimate that on short term till the adjustment and convergence of the market conditions, the number of mortgage credits will decrease following afterwards to come back on an increasing trend", Anca Bidian, General Director at Kiwi Finance says.
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