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Competition Council: We have not found evidence of a possible understanding between banks

In the investigation of the behavior of banks during October to November 2008, finalized in 2013, no evidence was found of a possible understanding between banks, the Competition Council has announced in response to Senator Daniel Zamfir’s statements.

The Competition Council says that the investigation into the behavior of banks during October – November 2008, due to the malfunctioning of the monetary market (the climax of the international financial crisis), was completed in 2013, following the legal procedures, ziare.com reports.

No evidence of possible understanding between banks was found in the investigation, and the report’s conclusions were approved by the plenary of the competition authority.

During the investigation, the competition authority issued two procedural sanctions to banks BRD – Groupe Societe Generale SA (RON 19 million) and Raiffeisen Bank SA RON (14 million) for refusing to undergo unannounced inspections and for providing inaccurate information.

The two sanctions were confirmed by the court.

The actions conducted by the regulator, the National Bank of Romania, at that time were not related to the object of the investigation by the Competition Council, the institution says. “We remind that the legislation was amended in 2010, taking into account the European provisions imposing the obligation to use ROBOR as a reference for determining the interest rates. We regret that we were not contacted to remind these details and thus we would have avoided the misinformation of the population,” the competition authority concludes.

ALDE Senator Daniel Zamfir announced that he will call to gearings BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu and Bogdan Chiritoiu, the president of the Competition Council, on January 29, about the calculation of the ROBOR index.

Zamfir spoke about a report of an investigation commenced in 2008 and concluded in 2011, which was finalized with no resolution.

Zamfir has asked the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to put an end to the artificial calculation mechanism of ROBOR as of Monday, which “is inflating the Romanians’ bank payments. “ROBOR is an agreement among the commercial banks, it is not the result of a free market by any means, it is a deal to cover the losses that are burdening those who have taken loans in RON,” the ALDE senator argued.

Zamfir claimed that the Robor Index is agreed among banks, and is inflated according to the quotations chosen by BNR to establish the loan interest, when actually Robor should be calculated depending on the transactions among banks. “You’ll see what big difference is. Today Robor is calculated as such: ten banks are chosen and, for 15 minutes, they establish a quotation to which they are lending money one another. After 15 minutes the fixing procedure stops. You’ll see that after those 15 minutes the interest is much lower. That’s why I am asking BNR to stop these practice and to establish the Robor index according to the existing transactions ant not according to quotations, for there are banks which are setting higher values on purpose so that to increase the Robor that has been affecting the Romanian loans for years,” Zamfir said.


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