The banks are not responsible and don’t want to negotiate rates cuts and to offer a significant discount, Catalin Voivozeanu, a representative of Customers with CHF loans Group (of about 16,000 members) claims. More than 1,000 people protested on Sunday in Bucharest’s Victoria Square against the political class and the National Bank of Romania (BNR) attitude in Switzerland’s national currency issue.
“We tried the variant proposed by the BNR Governor (ed. note Mugur Isarescu) or to directly negotiate with the rest of the banks, but it’s just an attempt and nothing more. (…) When banks don’t want to negotiate, our only solution is a law in this regard,” Voivozeanu said. The protesters demand a conversion law by which the foreign currency loans to be converted into RON loans, with a 30 percent discount. They believe that it is the only viable solution.
BNR data reveal that at the beginning of this year, 65,000 people with loans in Swiss francs were in commercial banks’ portfolios in Romania, of which over 36,500 have applied in early June for loans conversion or restructuring, central bank spokesman Dan Suciu said.
He explained that 15,594 of all applications for CHF loans’ conversion or restructuring have been resolved, and 20,000 are under processing. In this context, a total of 30,000 customers have not submitted to banks any request for conversion or restructuring of their loans in that currency.
According to market estimates, the banks have outsourced over time some 20,000 loans in Swiss francs.
The conversion of CHF credits into Romanian currency at the historical rate would generate significant losses amounting RON 5.7 billion, meaning 0.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, Governor Isarescu said earlier this year. „Who is going to support all these losses?” the central bank governor rhetorically asked.