Close to 500 Romanian have approached the Alternative Banking Dispute Settlement Center (ABDRC) in the first three months of this year to find amicable solutions in their relations with banks and NBFIs. Compared to the same period of 2018, the number of applications increased by approximately 60%.

In the first three months of 2019, 108 consumers made peach with banks or NBFIs with the aid of ABDRC. During the same period of last year, only 74 consumers benefited of the solutions rendered by the ABDRC conciliators.

Of the total number of applications received in Q1 2019, 458 concerned different aspects in the relation with the bank, whereas 36 concerned different issues occurred between consumers and NBFIs.

The total number of casefiles formed in Q1 2019 reached 147, of which 146 involved banks, and only one such casefile concerned a NBFI, during the same period. Of these casefiles, 64 concluded with a resolution (the parties accepted the solution proposed by the conciliator), and additional 80 casefiles are in progress. In one single casefile, the parties rejected the solution the conciliator rendered, and a failed procedure report was consequently issued, whereas in two casefiles the parties withdrew from the procedure.

Furthermore, 51 applications were settled amicably by traders after the respective cases were referred to ABDRC (traders negotiated directly with consumer), broken down as follows: 49 applications settled amicably with banks, and 2 applications settled amicably with NBFIs.

In March 2019, the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre celebrated its 3rd anniversary of operational activity.

In the end of the first quarter of this year, we counted as approximately 1,250 requests made by phone, and the breakdown of these requests on banks/NBFs is as follows:

o 458 compliant applications;
o 5 non-compliant applications;
o 202 requests for miscellaneous information.

Classification of the 458 compliant applications:

  • 146 casefiles created in Q1 2019;
  • 55 in the screening phase – documents are being reviewed;
  • 49 applications were settled amicably by the trader – consumer, however after the consumer
    referred the case to ABDRC;
  • 208 were closed.


Classification of the 146 casefiles in the procedure with proposed solution:

  • 64 resolutions rendered – the parties reached an agreement;
  • 68 casefiles in the phase of discussions with the parties;
  • 1 closure – the parties failed to reach an agreement;
  • 11 preliminary casefiles;
  • 2 casefiles in which one party withdrew from the procedure.

Means of filing compliant applications:

  • 180 were emailed;
  • 235 were submitted via the app (websites);
  • 15 were mailed;
  • 28 were brought to, and registered by consumers with the office of ABDRC.


  • 36 compliant applications


Qualification of the 36 compliant applications:

  • 1 casefile created in Q1 2019;
  • 20 in the screening phase – documents are being reviewed;
  • 2 applications were settled amicably by the NBFI – consumer, however after consumer referred
    the case to ABDRC;
  • 13 were closed – rejected by the NBFIs;

Means of filing compliant applications:

  • 6 were emailed;
  • 26 were submitted via the app (websites);
  • 2 were mailed;
  • 2 were brought to, and registered by consumers with the office of ABDRC.


Most applications received from clients refer to:

  • Problems with loans taken out – 90%
    • Decrease of the loan balance
    • Removal of certain fees (management, tracking fees)
    • Removal of certain contractual provisions
    • Problems with enforcement
    • Recalculation of the interest rate
    • Re-staggering or refinancing of the loan
    • Resumption of the repayment schedule
    • Repayment of certain fees (management, analysis, risk, monitoring fees) o Repayment of certain amounts
    • Deregistration from in the Credit Register 
  • Other problems – 10%
    • Deposits
    • Credit cards
    • Current account
    • Problems with bank transfers o Leasing

The main reasons for closing compliant applications are:

  • traders refused settlement of the disputes by ADR procedures:
    • because an agreement was reached directly with the consumer, further to the latter
      approaching ABDRC;
    • due to pending court proceedings;
    • because forced execution proceedings have already been initiated;
    • in an attempt to settle the dispute directly with the consumer;
    • several offers have been made, but all of them were turned down by the consumer before
      the consumer had approached ABDRC);

The interest of consumers in ABDRC has raised compared to last year. The figures in the end of Q1 of this year, compared to those of the same period of last year, are 60% better in terms of the number of applications received. If we are to look into the cases solved (under resolutions, or by amicable settlement after a referral to ABDRC), this increase is of 45%.

Q1 2019 enjoys a monthly average better the average of 2018, in respect of both the number of applications, as well as the number of casefiles formed.

Q1 2018 in figures:

  • 310 compliant applications – 103 applications per month;
  • 175 casefiles – 58.3 casefiles per month; (All) 2018 in figures:
  • 1.293 compliant applications – 108 applications per month;
  • 550 casefiles – 45.8 casefiles per month;

Q1 2019 in figures:

  • 494 compliant applications – 165 applications per month;
  • 200 applications admitted by banks: 147 casefiles + 53 applications settled amicably by the parties after a referral to ABDRC – 67 applications settled/pending settlement per month;

The work of ABDRC has intensified (the ascending trend started in Q4 2017 being confirmed/continued in the entire 2018, and then also in Q1 2019). The following changes in the behavior of both consumers and traders to ABDRC have been seen:

  • on one hand, increasingly more consumers have learned about ABDRC and are currently accessing the Center’s services, in their efforts to have their disputes with the traders in the financial and banking sector resolved (increasingly more diverse applications);
  • on the other hand, traders are willing to participate in increasingly more conciliation procedure. Additionally, all the banks in Romania accepted conciliation requests from consumers. This is an indication that the banks have understood the role played by ABDRC, as well as the benefits of the ADR procedures;
  •  the developments of the past years point to a significant reduction in the number of applications registered with ABDRC, but refused by banks (no casefile formed): from 60% in 2016 down, to 40% in the end of 2018. For the running year, one of the objectives pursued is to reduce the rate of applications rejected by the banks below 30%. This is a workable objective, so much the more that there are banks the rejection rate of which ranges between 18% and 22%.

The WEBSITE has been available to consumers since July 2018 an online app which makes submission of the conciliation applications faster and smoother. On the first page of the website, consumers are prompted to access the app by filling in an application. The documents entered in the registration form are uploaded into the app, and their processing time is approximately one hour. By email, in the offline procedure, documents used to be processed in approximately one day. The app was developed in observance of the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC) is an independent non-governmental apolitical, not-for-profit legal entity of public interest established under the Government Ordinance no.
38/2015 on alternative resolution of disputes between consumers and traders, which transposes at domestic level Directive 2013/11/EU on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) no. 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC.