Banks continue to raise loan interest

The difference between the loan interests and the deposits in lei for the population that are currently in balance of accounts continued to go up by half a percentage point over the first quarter of 2010, up to 8.14 percent, as the banks try to cover their costs considering that they do not grant new loans, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) data show.

The interest margin for new loans and deposits is maintained over the 5 percent threshold, reads Ziarul Financiar daily on Monday. The number of loan applicants is almost half the number registered in 2008, the only sectors that are still in a good position being credit cards and mortgage loans.
„The loan request is about 40 percent below the level of 2008. Up to the present moment there have been no significant changes compared to 2009. For now no significant increase is felt,” says general manager of the Credit Bureau Serban Epure.

Banks maintain their interest margins high in order to better cover their costs, their operational expenditures thus reaching 56.7 percent of the incomes in March compared to 60.7 percent in December and a little below level of last year’s similar period. The decrease in the operational expenditures percentage is also due to the fact that, over last year, banks dismissed around 4,000 employees and closed down several tens of branches. The interest for the loans in balance of accounts dropped by half a percentage point over the first three months of 2010, while the bonuses for deposits were cut by over one percentage point.

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