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Competition Council starts analysis on ROBOR level

The Competition Council (CC) has started an analysis on the ROBOR level in the latest period of time, given the index’s fluctuation after the GEO 114 on fiscal measures, Bogdan Chiritoiu, the institution’s chief, said on Monday.

“We are conducting an analysis about ROBOR. We aim at ROBOR not the exchange rate, as debates were carried out and we are interested to see the consequences of Ordinance 114,” Chiritoiu said, according to antena3.ro.

Referring the ALDE Senator Daniel Zamfir’s statements that the CC did not sanction, in 2008, several banks suspected of understandings to manipulate the ROBOR index, Chiritoiu says the investigation has not given proof in this regard.

In the investigation of the behavior of banks during October to November 2008, finalized in 2013, no evidence was found of a possible understanding between banks, the Competition Council announced last week in response to Senator Daniel Zamfir’s statements.

“I admit it is a surprise to answer in 2019 about events in 2008, but now we witness a clash between large titans and collateral damages appear. The investigation was completed, the decision was made by the law, and the decision to close the investigation is on our institution’s website. I am shocked such accusations can be launched without any kind of checks. It would have been better such false charges do not become public,” Chiritoiu said.

He added that the report found no evidence about an understanding between banks at the moment. This does not mean that the banks have not done something wrong in oth r periods of time, Chiritoiu said.

For procedural reasons, the report was discussed also with the European Commission, the CC chief said.

Chiritoiu also said an investigation is ongoing on the banking market for one year to be completed this year. “25 inspections were conducted to banks, the largest inspection ever conducted by the Council and a confirmation of violating the law or not will be available in several months. We’ll see if the banks violated the competition law in regard to recent deeds, two years ago, not in 2008,” Chiritoiu added.

“In regard to ROBOR, we will cooperate with the parliamentary committee, we’ll make available figures from our report – an X-ray of what happened in October 2008,” Chiritoiu said.

The CC chief said the institution does not set the interest rates and the exchange rate either.

Referring to the statements of Darius Valcov, Chiritoiu says investigations may last more than six months, time is needed to gather evidence, usually a European Commission investigation lasts 2-3 years.

Darius Valcov, adviser to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on economic issues, suggested Governor Mugur Isarescu could be replaced from the National Bank’s helm and hinted also at Competition Council chief, urging an investigation on banks.

Last week, PSD stated that the only institution entitled to have a controlled power on the RON-EUR exchange rate is the National Bank. The next day, PSD used to ask BNR in another Facebook post to “do its job and defend the national currency and the Romanians’ mortgages”.



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