Romanians prefer saving in hard currencies but taking loans in RON

Sorin Melenciuc 25/06/2018 | 12:10

The bank loans granted to individual and corporate clients in Romania rose 6.4 percent year-on-year in May, to RON 239.1 billion (EUR 51.4 billion), and the amount of deposits increased by 10.6 percent, to RON 308.7 billion (EUR 66.4 billion), according to National Bank of Romania (BNR) data released on Monday.

RON-denominated non-government loans, which include loans granted to individual clients and companies, grew by 16.1 percent year-on-year in May, to RON 154.7 billion, household loans surging by 22.8 percent.

During the same period, forex-denominated loans declined by 7.8 percent, to RON 84.4 billion-forex equivalent, due to stricter rules regarding forex bank loans.

Bank deposits have become less attractive in the first months of this year, as a consequence of low interest rates and rising inflation (+5.4 percent in May).

RON-denominated deposits of residents (individual clients and companies) increased by 0.3 percent month-on-month, to RON 207.7 billion, but the annual growth rate slowed to 9.3 percent, from 10.6 percent in April, central bank data show.

Forex-denominated deposits rose by 1.1 percent month-on-month, to RON 100.9 billion-forex equivalent, and by 13.5 percent year-on-year.

During the last couple of years, Romania’s bank clients increased their creditor status against banks due to strong savings and weak credit market, deposit holders being technically the banks’ creditors.

In May, bank deposits exceeded loans by 29.1 percent, as credit market is still affected by low demand, experts say.

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