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Quarterly reference index for consumer credits announced by BNR 2.36 per year

The reference index for consumer credits (IRCC), regulated by Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 19/2019, is 2.36 per cent per year, calculated as the arithmetic average of the daily interest rates for the inter-banking transactions for the 4th quarter of 2018, according to data announced by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) on Thursday.

"The calculation methodology and the publication policy are presented in the Regulations regarding the calculation and publication of the daily index and quarterly reference index (called the reference index for consumer credits - IRCC) regulated by OUG no. 19/2019 on the modification and supplementation of some normative acts, to be published on the Website of the National Strategy and Prognosis Commission," reads a message of the BNR. The index will stay unchanged for the next two months.

The reference index for consumer credits (IRCC) published on May 2 is calculated as the arithmetic average of the daily interest rates for the interbank transactions for the 4th quarter of 2018. The daily interest rates for the inter-banking transactions represent the volume weighted average interest rates on the interbank monetary market (the daily indexes). These indexes are being published on the BNR Website in the Info financiar section. 

After this date, BNR will publish the daily indexes and, at the end of each quarter, the updated value of the reference index for consumer credits.

According to GEO 19/2019, "for credits granted in national currency, the interest rates will be composed of the reference index exclusively calculated based on the interbank transactions for a certain period, to which the creditor might add a certain fixed margin for the entire period of the contract. The reference index for credits granted in lei with floating interest will be published daily, in each and every business day on the Website of the BNR (...) The reference index is calculated at the end of each quarter, as an arithmetic mean of the daily interest rates determined for the next quarter, to be applied by each credit institution in the next quarter."

According to the data published by the National Bank of Romania, the 3-month ROBOR index, which calculates the cost of consumer credits in lei with floating interest, dropped to 3.32 per cent per year from 3.37 per cent on Tuesday and 6-month ROBOR reached 3.47 per cent from 3.50 per cent per year in the previous session.

Inflation has caused disruptions in public life, which has led to the exit of ROBOR (Romanian Interbank Offered Rate, ed. n.) from the game and the introduction of a new reference index for loans, but the National Bank of Romania (BNR) has no other role than that of mathematician of the system, Adrian Vasilescu, strategy strategist at BNR, said on Thursday.

He said that this quarterly benchmark for consumer loans would also take inflation into account.

"It cannot be other way. Any index that sets an interest rate takes inflation into account. Inflation will always determine the cost of the credit. To have loans with interest rates like those abroad would mean inflation like the one abroad and at the same time economic conditions like those abroad. In the years with negative inflation, we had loans with better interest rates than those in the Czech Republic, Hungary, because inflation was below zero. When inflation rose above zero, ROBOR also grew," Vasilescu explained.

The consumer credit reference index, governed by OUG (Government Emergency Ordinance, ed. n.) No. 19/2019, is 2.36pct per annum, calculated as the arithmetic average of the daily interbank rates of interbank transactions in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to data announced on Thursday by BNR.



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