BNR-Senate Committee dispute on ROBOR, Competition Council accused

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The Senate’s Economic Committee’s report is discredited, as it has ignored the position expressed by the National Bank’s Board, presented to the committee, with the request addressed to BNR being at least weird, BNR’s spokesman Dan Suciu said on Tuesday.

“The report aims an investigation conducted by the Competition Council in a certain case. By extrapolating it to ROBOR proves no serious argument stands behind. It seems odd that the position expressed by the BNR Board, presented to the committee, has not been considered, however some opinions expressed by Mr. Isar are taken for granted. If this is the report, then it is entirely discredited and, consequently, by ignoring the BNR position, the request from Messrs. Cinteza and Serban is at least odd,” Suciu said.

The Senate’s Economic Committee chief Daniel Zamfir announced that the report shows that ROBOR was manipulated, whereas the committee suggests the dismissal of the Competition Council President Bogdan Chiritoiu and the sanctioning of Nicolae Cinteza, Director of BNR’s Supervisory Directorate and of Serban Matei, Director of BNR’s International Relations Directorate.

“ROBOR was manipulated, its calculation based on quotations proved to lack transparency, it was manipulated. The Economic Committee has proposed since March 20 that ROBOR is uncoupled from the mechanism of calculating interest rates in national currency, or to change the calculation modality of the index,” the committee’s president, ALDE Senator Daniel Zamfir said on Tuesday.

Following the investigation, the committee proposes the dismissal of Competition Council President Bogdan Chiritoiu and the amendment of the law on the statute of senators and deputies, by providing drastic sanctions on the MPs who do not attend the investigation when invited to.

Another proposal sent to the Senate’s Standing Bureau is to sanction BNR’s Supervisory Director Nicolae Cinteza and International Relations Director Serban Matei, due to their repeated refusal to attend the committee’s investigation. The committee has proposed to the Senate’s Standing Bureau to send a request to the BNR Governor on the sanctioning of the two.

A release from the Competition Council reads that the Economic Committee’s report regarding ROBOR includes countless inaccuracies, with information taken out of context or erroneously presented. The conclusions of the report were set by Senator Zamfir even before the investigation started, the release reads.

The CC mentions that its investigation has observed all legal procedures but no cartel between the banks, in view of increasing the ROBOR index in October 2008, has been revealed.

The Council further mentions that the data provided by the documents have no connection with the current situation on the banking market, given that in the period investigated by the CC only about 4.5% of the credit granted by banks had the interests calculated based on ROBOR, whereas the index level was below the level of transactions on the banking market. The obligation that the interest rates for credit in national currency are calculated based on the index was introduced in 2010.

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