Number of bank debtors up more than 50pc at end-June

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The number of bank debtors, on June 30, 2009 grew by over 50 percent than that during the same time span last year. There are over 600,000 debtors in arrears for longer than 30 days, say data supplied by the Credit Office and made public by Romania’s Central Bank (BNR).

They took 884,000 loans and the arrears amount to over 1.8 billion lei.
The bad debtors are by 50 percent more than in June 2008 when they totaled 393,000 people whose arrears went higher than 700 million lei.

The exchange rate, the increase in the interests, and last but not least the unemployment are the three main reasons that led to the rise in the arrears, read the Evenimentul Zilei daily quoting Raiffeisen Bank chief cashier Ionut Dumitru as saying.

The first two have put the highest pressure on the bad debtors. That was more painfully felt since last October, Dumitru told the daily. He expects the increasing unemployment to make the number of bad debtors grow by year-end.

‘I expect the unemployment to reach 8 percent, namely some 800,000 jobless, at year-end.
But it also depends on the political decisions to be made from now on. Either the budget employees are laid off or they will be curbed the salaries, the impact on the debts to the banks can be but negative, Dumitru added.

Financial analyst Dragos Cabat also opines that the developments in the number of layoffs are correlated to that of the bad debtors.
On the other hand, while the average arrears amounted to round 1,8000 lei per debtor, in end June 2008, the average arrears attain 3,000 lei in the first half of the year.

Arrears total 1.8 million, 1.22 billion of them in lei, while that in euros reach about 556 million lei, and that in dollars do not exceed the equivalent of 5 million lei. At the same time, the arrears that had been due for longer than 90 days pose for over 1.5 billion lei.

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