Romanian private banking market on rise

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The high interests given by the Romanian banks in the recent period have managed to attract the most elitist client bracket, says an article carried by the Capital weekly.
The affluent Romanians and foreign nationals withdrew part of their money placed in the markets hit by the financial turbulence, in an attempt to dissipate the risk, while also attracted by the possibility of making significant gains from low- or medium-risk investments, the magazine explains.
The banks offer special conditions to such VIP clients, giving them the possibility to negotiate the interests to the major deposits in the national leu currency as much as up to 18-20 percent, the source adds.
As early as at end-2008, the clients’ tendency to turn their liquidity to the banks and put it in term deposits or investments carrying a very low risk has become obvious, the Capital quotes Marijana Vasilescu, head of Royal Preferred Banking of RBS Romania as saying. The trend was the result of the steep fluctuation of the exchange rate as well as of the very high volatility in the real estate market.
‘The term deposits offered such advantages as the high degree of liquidity, amid the current economic circumstances, and also the safety and diversity of the alternatives depending on each client’s appetite and risk profile’, Vasilescu stressed.
The Romanian private banking market, therefore, grew spectacularly in 2008, the Capital
says.
The banks have become increasingly attracted to managing the individual clients’ wealth in the last two years, with the statistic figures showing such market niche had a potential of 1.8 billion euros in 2007, head of Private Banking Credit Europe, Daniela Suteu explained. She said the assets managed by the private banking services surged 40 percent in 2008 to more than 3.1 billion euros.
The clients this year seem to have a more conservative approach, as they prefer to preserve what they have. However, the figures in the first four months point to a continued slight increase in the private banking, the magazine says.
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