BT challenges BCR’s rule over SME clientele

Newsroom 11/09/2007 | 15:54

Aside from the premium product that you have just launched, are there any other premium products or services that Banca Transilvania is considering launching this year?
No. This is the premium product that we wanted to launch in 2007.
We want to basically continue with the success we had with Visa Gold, where we are market leader. We want to offer the top 300 to 500 richest people in Romania a premium exclusive product.
We do not have any aspirations to enter into private banking in Romania. We are a bank for entrepreneurs. Many prosperous people have come from the SME segment, are very successful and they need certain products. That is how we want to position ourselves; we do not want to create a separate division.

What kind of change has EU accession brought or will it bring to your product portfolio? Are you considering focusing more on municipal financing or on the agriculture sector, for example?
Banca Transilvania and Dexia are partners in offering municipal financing to many city halls in Romania. We want to be more active in rural areas, also, with basic banking products.
We did not launch any specific products for the agriculture sector. We might consider doing this in the future, but we do not have anything right now in this respect. I think this is the wisest way to go, because the agriculture sector in Romania still needs to develop and it will probably need a lot of support from the European Union.
We have Clubul Intreprinzatorului (Entrepreneur's Club) and there we have discussions about subsidies, about all kinds of support from the EU and we tell entrepreneurs how they can obtain help from Brussels.

Regarding mortgages, is BT considering dropping the down payment rate after the central bank makes it voluntary?
Yes, we will come up with something attractive to our clients. I do not know what the average down payment rate will end up being after new regulations are instated, but it will go down. However, I would be surprised if a bank chose to drop it altogether.
I have had discussions with many people who told me that the advance payment is not really the problem. The problem is the 35 percent of income limitation for monthly installments. The central bank did not change that. We will see if they come with any measures in this respect, but I don't expect any soon.

Ana-Maria David

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