ING Bank Romania Withdraws From First House Program, Launches Its Own Loan Offer

Publish date: 22-07-2009
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ING Bank Romania withdrew from the "First House" program, planning to launch a similar mortgage loan product, but without the state guarantee, with a 5.5% interest rate and a maximum ceiling of EUR80,000, the bank's retail unit manager Albert Roggemans told MEDIAFAX Tuesday.

"We do not take part in the «First House» Program. We have a very interesting offer to grant loans without the state guarantee, with an interest rate of 5.5% in the year, within the limit of EUR80,000," Roggemans said.
ING Bank will not participate in the government's housing program because the guarantee procedure generates supplementary costs that are not in conformity with the lender's distributin model, the bank stated.
The bank will launch this summer the new product, according to a lender's press release. 
"The new product will be granted extremely fast. The dwelling bought (through this program- e.n.) may be any house in which the client wants to live, not necessarily his first one. This offer sustains the Government's initiative and notable effort to revive the real estate sector," Roggemans said in the statement.
The government launched recently a program to guarantee mortgage loans of up to EUR60,000 taken by people who did not previously benefit from a similar product.
To buy a home via the "First House" program, interested people must pay a 5% downpayment of the purchase price for a house whose price is lower or equal to EUR60,000, or a down payment of EUR3,000 plus the difference between the purchase price of the respective house and EUR60,000, if the price is higher than EUR60,000.
The guarantee will be granted to the people buying their first home and who did not previously benefit from a mortgage loan.
Initially, the Finance Ministry received offers for the "First House" program from 20 banks, respectively BCR, BRD, Raiffeisen, CEC Bank, Alpha Bank, Volksbank, Banca Transilvania, Bancpost, Banca Romaneasca, Piraeus Bank, Leumi Bank, ATE Bank, Intesa San Paolo Bank, Credit Europe, OTP Bank, Unicredit, ING, Emporiki, Millenium Bank and Garanti Bank.
The value of the offers submitted by the banks totaled EUR1.46 billion, higher than the maximum guarantee threshold of EUR1 billion set by the government.
So far, 13 banks signed the convention.
Prime Minister Emil Boc met Tuesday with the bankers interested in the "First House" program, to analyze the details of the loan guarantee convention.
The changes brought to the housing program after the talks between Boc and bank managers will be notified to the other ministers and approved during the Government's Wednesday meeting.
At the end of the Government Tuesday meeting, the bankers announced that the convention's text will be changed Thursday with a provision to include in the program the newly-built apartments that are financed from loans and already mortgaged by their developers.


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