Set up in May 1991 as a professional association, the Romanian Association of Banks has currently 36 members, credit institutions with majority private or state-owned capital and branches or representative offices of foreign banks. The Romanian Association of Banks concentrates the entire banking industry of Romania, being the voice of the banking sector in its relationship with the Romanian authorities, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the World Bank and other domestic and foreign bodies. RAB has become one of the strongest professional associations from Romania, via the steady involvement of its members in conformity with the provisions of the Association’s by-laws and the laws in force.
Its main goal is to represent and defend its members’ rights and interests, particularly now when the regulating conducted at European level of an already well-regulated system could put additional pressure on banks’ business. The banking industry’s priorities pertain to maintaining the banking sector’s role as main financier of Romania’s economy, including via actions to strengthen financial discipline in order to assure the banking sector’s stability and credibility. By eliminating the challenges for the banking sector especially legal ones, consumers will be able to benefit from banking services at more competitive prices while companies from Romania will be able to compete as efficiently as possible on foreign markets.
The RAB’s activity should be seen as a transparent way to promote interests, the proposals to amend laws or their amending if the foreseen impact is to bring about negative effects for the banking system and, implicitly, for the economy. The RAB is consulted on on-going basis and answers the requests of the authorities as representative of the financial & banking business environment.
The Romanian Association of Banks is a member in 26 national lucrative bodies set up to develop and improve the overall economic framework. To this end, the banking community makes available over 800 experts who make up RAB’s technical commissions.
The manner via which the Romanian Association of Banks represents and promotes the Romanian banking sector’s interests includes the local actions before domestic decision-makers such as the Parliament, the Government, the National Bank of Romania, as well as the representation actions at international level before the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and the International Monetary Fund. By influencing the legal process, we intend to create a level playing field as regards the European legislation for all players in the European Union.
The setting up of the Romanian Banking Institute, of the Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund and of the Credit Bureau, the process of denomination of the domestic currency, enforcing the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), modernizing the Payment System, creating for banks a new reporting system to the NBR, the standardization and harmonization of payment processes-the SEPA project-are but some of the major projects impacting RAB’s activity and its collaboration with the National Bank of Romania (NBR).
The Romanian banking sector finances mainly the Romanian economy, providing about 90% of the total financing granted by the Romanian financial system. The banking system of Romania that serves millions of customers has proven to be resilient during the crisis, so that there was no need for the system to be bailed out with public money.
The RAB is a member of the European Banking Federation, of the European Payments Council, of the European Mortgage Federation, European Banking Institute and of other international bodies.