During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Romanian banking sector fared benefiting from some strong points. The soundness of the banking sector, the absorption of customers’ liquidity problems, enhancing lending on sustainable basis, accelerating digitalization and a strong advance in saving have been the banking sector’s strong points in the context of the pandemic.
The pillars of the banking system
The National Bank of Romania, an independent, public institution, has the exclusive right to issue currency, being the sole institution vested with the power to issue legal tender in the form of notes and coins tobe used as means of payment on the territory of Romania. The NBR supports the general economic policy of the Government without prejudice to its primary objective which is providing and maintaining price stability.
The Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund was set up in 1996, as a legal entity of public law. The Fund’s purpose is guarantees the reimbursement of deposits with credit institutions, according to the terms and limits established by the law on the Fund’s operating. The Bank Deposit Guarantee Fund conducts activities as special administrator, interim administrator or liquidator of credit institutions, if appointed to act in such a capacity.
Established following the initiative of the Romanian banking community, the Credit Bureau aims to support the participants to the banking system by providing them real, updated, aggregated and consistent information regarding individuals who have outstanding loans with banks or financial companies, have purchased an asset via leasing or have been insured against default risk with an insurer.
The operator of the Electronic Payment System of Romania is TransFonD – the Company for Fund Transfer and Settlement, a private firm established by the banking community of Romania, having as shareholders the National Bank of Romania and 23 commercial banks.
Set up in 1991, the Romanian Banking Institute (RBI) has as main target vocational training, by specializing the staff working in banks, according to the requirements established by credit institutions and the National Bank of Romania, in cooperation with the Romanian Association of Banks and the programmes endorsed by its Board.
Set up in 1997 inside the National Bank of Romania, the Payments Incidents Register is an intermediation centre managing information specific to incidents with payments instruments (cheques, promissory notes, bills of exchange), both from the bank’s point of view (overdraft, not honouring the obligations undertaken via these instruments ) and from the social point of view (lost / stolen / damaged).
The Central Credit Register – CRR (former Banking Risk Register) represents a specialised structure for collecting, storing and centralising the information on the exposure of each declarant person from Romania before the debtors who benefitted from loans and/or commitments whose cumulated level exceeds the reporting limit (20,000 lei), as well as information on card frauds committed by card holders.
ROMCARD is joint company, set up in 1994 by the five Romanian banks, having as objective the processing of cards transactions.