ING Bank: Market becomes highly competitive in terms of attraction of deposits

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Romanian banking market has become highly competitive in terms of attraction of deposits, with the competition on the credit sales segment having instead slowed down, Albert Roggemans, chief of retail division with the ING Bank told Ziarul financiar daily on September 18.
 
„Competition slowed down on the crediting segment. With the market having already become dangerous, it was high time more realistic offers to emerge instead, Roggemenas said, also adding that the BNR’s (National Bank) regulations lead the market on the right way.
 
He also said that the latest 6 months brought a lot of pressure on the liquidities in the system, which resulted in a slowing down of the crediting and also on the attraction of deposits segment.
„The foreign banks are more reticent while coming of sending money to their Romanian branches, as because of their problems on the foreign markets,” Roggemans said.
 
The evolution was also reflected by the reabsorbing of the traditional excess in lei on the interbanking market, which resulted in the interests stagnating in the latest months somewhere above the level of monetary policy rate, in the context the banks injected lei in credits granted to customers.
Some players pay interests for the deposits in lei amounting to 11% per year, much over the key-interest of the BNR. And even the interests for deposits in euro reach 6% per year.
 
The Dutch have developed their offer of retail services around a current account with a card attached, for which they pay an interest comparable with the levels usually paid for term deposits.
The current interest stands at 8.25% per year. If the bank saw an excess of liquidities following the collection in the retail network, withdrawals of funds came now to exceed deposits.
In fact, withdrawals of cash increase more rapidly compared with deposits. Nevertheless, the evolution happens also in the context ING starts to „open” its SelfBank retail units also for customers of other banks.
 
The bank currently has some 160 offices, with approximately 600, 000 retail customers. The territorial network of the bank is still expanding, following to reach 230-250 units (including SelfBanks and wholesales units) by the end of next year.
On the other hand, the ING head of retail tries to maintain a „competitive” offer on the crediting segment, so that he checks on a monthly basis the conditions of the competition. Due to the fact that it operates as a branch of the parent-bank from the Netherlands, ING needs to observe the cautious regulations of the BNR, which include also such measures recently adopted to limit credits granted to individuals.
 
The ING retail head also added that in the last year the bank managed to maintain its market shares on the crediting segment, to some 5%, also reaching a better position in the credits for personal needs area, guaranteed through mortgage. He also said the bank came to have now a complete offer of products and services on the retail segment, after in the spring it launched a credit card too.
Roggemans also said that the number of customers reaches several thousand, but with the offer of products and services to be limited to the current account, foreign payment operations, financing and trading platforms via the Internet.
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