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ROBOR scandal taken in Parliament: BNR governor, called for hearings again

ALDE senator Daniel Zamfir has announced he would call the central bank governor, Mugur Isarescu, for hearings in the Economy committee of the Senate on January 29. President of the Competition Council, Bogdan Chiritoiu, will be also summoned to explain about the calculation of the ROBOR Index.

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 credits 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,” said Zamfir.

In retort, BNR spokesperson Dan Suciu stated that senator Daniel Zamfir is launching a long series of misunderstanding, accusing the ALDE lawmaker that he doesn’t know the BNR law or the market.

“Mr. Zamfir is launching a long series of confusions and ambiguities. The market has been working for tens of years and he suddenly discovers the market is being manipulated. It is a clear proof he doesn’t understand the market or the BNR law and this is disgraceful. The BNR’s impact on the market is established by the monetary policy itself, which is the legal attribute of the National Bank. If he has more questions related to the market, he’d better address the Financial Markets Association that is functioning based on some agreed international provisions. I think Mr. Zamfir’s role is just to create confusion. Who benefits of it?”, Dan Suciu replied.

The 3-month ROBOR Index, according to which the cost of variable-yield loans in RON is calculated, has increased on Friday to 2.93%, up from 2.90% in the previous session, according to the figures released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).

In the similar period last year the index was 1.98% per annum.

The 6-month ROBOR Index, considered in order to calculate interest rates on mortgage loans, has increased to 3.22%, up from 3.20%.

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