For less costly banking services, Romanians still have to wait 3-4 years for Asian financial groups to come in, Chairman of the Banking Institute of Romania (IBR) and National Bank of Greece Senior Country Advisor Petru Rares told Rompres on April 14.
According to Rares, the Asian banking groups starting doing business in Romania in 3-4 years’ time will mount the necessary pressure to bring retail banking costs down. He said Chinese banks are already ranked first globally in terms of capitalization.
A 2008 report of the Capgemini consulting firm and the European Financial Marketing and Management Association (EFMA) recently released in Bucharest, indicates that the costs for banking services borne by active users decreased by 1 percent worldwide in 2007, to an average of 70 euros per user in annual terms.
Banking service costs in Romania on active users were 36 euros per user, on the average, in 2007, up 25 percent from 2006, almost twice smaller than the global average of 70 euros and the European average of 75 euros.
“Competition in the Romanian banking system has reached the level of mature markets, and this is a problem. In 2007, in Asia, retail banking prices dropped by 11 percent. In Romania, the market is dominated by the power of banks. In the immediate future we will be witnessing many groups contributing to a competition boost and retail-banking prices getting in line.
This is also a hard time with financial turbulences that has determined a feeling of aversion toward expansion with retail banking investors; such feeling will last some time, but in the end such investors will come to Romania because there is potential here,” said Rares.
He also mentioned that after became a full European Union member in January 2007, 123 financial groups have put one foot in Romania thanks to the European passport for financialservices.
Banking service costs in Romania sustained by less active users averaged 17 euros in 2007, up from 10 euros in 2006, while the costs sustained by the most active users was 127 euros in 2007, up from 113 euros in 2006.