New loans for individuals and for companies, both leu-denominated and euro-denominated ones, became up to two percent more expensive, while deposit interests continued to decline, which shows that bankers are again looking to round off their profit margins.
The average interest on new loans granted to individual clients went up by one percent in February, reaching 13.5% a year, in line with the trend recorded in the first month of the year, show data from the NBR (National Bank of Romania).
The increase largely has to do with the higher cost of funding on the money market, because bankers retained or even cut the interest rate margins, say market players. At the same time, over the last few weeks increasingly strong signs have emerged that banks are seeking to attract clients for loans with lower interests.
"The rise of interest rates could be the result of updating reference indexes because banks' margins have not been higher. There is a trend on the market to bring interest rates to around 5% compared with 6-7% last year. Big banks, which are also the most active on the market at present, have already cut interest rate margins and I think the other players will rally, considering that demand remains low," commented Anca Bidian, general manager of credit broker Kiwi Finance.
Source: Ziarul Financiar