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Banks agree to give their debtors grace periods amid Covid-19 crisis

Banks in Romania have reached an agreement to extend allowances to their debtors in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, Adrian Vasilescu, an advisor to Romania’s National Bank (BNR) governor announced, adding that each bank will notify its customers of the decision, Economica.net reported.

However, each bank will decide what category of debtors will be allowed to defer their payments and for how long.

State-owned CEC Bank will announce its debtors about a 30-day grace period for their monthly installment “given debtors’ problems in moving to the bank offices” while the country’s biggest lender Banca Transilvania already increased the grace period for the consumer loans extended by credit cards by waiving the monthly payments for the months of March and April.

ING Bank reported that some of its customers have invoked mobility problems and asked for having their installment deadlines deferred.

However, since all these waivers and deferrals are linked to mobility issues (debtors are not able to, or prefer not to go to the bank), it is likely that the allowances will leave the repayment schedule untouched except for a couple of installment delayed that generate backload issues.

Consequently, as the financial problems faced by both individuals and companies continue to accumulate, this is likely to create significant problems and certain deterioration of the credit quality when the grace period expires.