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Govt. approves but doesn't recommend bank loan moratorium

The bank loan moratorium, for bank debtors facing financial problems due to the crisis prompted by the war in Ukraine, was enacted by the Romanian Government on June 29. Those who face increases in spending by 25% are entitled to request the moratorium, which allows for the deferral of installments. 

Finance minister Adrian Caciu, however, recommended those debtors who can pay their installments not to use the instrument because they'll eventually pay more.

"It is an instrument available to those who really have difficulty because, obviously, any postponement of installments will lead to the obligation for these installments to be paid later and with a series of costs along with them, respectively the related interest," Caciu said, quoted by Economica.net.

The moratorium was also approved by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) but also by the Romanian Association of Banks (ARB).

It is a tool for those in difficulty, both individuals and legal entities, minister Caciu explained. He outlined some alternatives customers have: switching to a fixed interest rate, switching from one benchmark to another (from ROBOR to IRCC) or refinancing the loan, rescheduling or restructuring the loan.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Wednesday that the government will approve during the day several measures of the 'Support for Romania' program, mentioning a 9-month forbearance on bank installments, support for institutionalized children, young families and students and the extension of the 'SME Invest plus' program.

"We will continue to adopt the measures included in the 'Support for Romania' plan and to this effect we will approve today the suspension of bank installments for a nine-month period, a measure applicable to both individuals and companies facing difficulties caused by the increase in prices and all the elements related to the inflation everybody feels. Also, at today's government meeting we will approve the Emergency Ordinance on support to institutionalized children, young families and students," the Prime Minister announced at the beginning of the Executive's meting.

Ciuca also mentioned that the 'SME Invest plus' program will be extended.

"It is a measure we are taking in order to continue supporting the SMEs that work in digitalisation, in research and innovation, in the digital field, as well as the establishment of start-ups," the Prime Minister added.

He also announced that several decisions will be made at the meeting "aimed at accomplishing the milestones and targets set forth in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for the second quarter", so that "the consistency of the program's implementation" is ensured.