The ABDRC services continue to be accessed by the Romanian consumers, the number of applications recorded in 2023 exceeding the figure of 2022 (2,932 applications filed v a total of 2,627 applications in 2022; the weekly average is higher in 2023, with 56 applications/week as compared to 50 applications/week in 2022).

I.  About ABDRC Establishment

1. 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 No 2013/11/EU on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes, as well as Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution (ODR) for consumer disputes.

2. ABDRC’s work is render at two levels:

  • administrative – organization and functioning of ABDRC as legal entity;
  • operational – organization and performance of the alternative dispute resolution activity.

II. Administrative activity of ABDRC

1. Activity of the Steering Board

The ultimate duty of the Board, the work of which is rendered under the Regulation for ABDRC’s Organization and Steering Board’s Functioning, is to steer and provide oversight of the administrative activity of the Centre. Thus, the members of the Steering Board have powers and duties in connection with approval and amendment of the resolution procedures, approval of conciliators, approval of the income and expenditure budget, etc.

The Board members are not involved in any operational activity of the Centre (the review and resolution of the disputes being reserved exclusively to conciliators), and their task is to see that ABDRC has available sufficient resources to carry out its activity in an efficient and independent manner.

Highlights of the Steering Board’s activity in 2023:

  • continuation of all the activities (conciliation, meetings of the Steering Board in physical format or via email, communication, employees’ presence in the office, meetings with traders/collaborators, etc.);
  • continuation of the communication activity via different channels adapted to the ABDRC’s purpose/mission, as well as ensuring the necessary conditions for the development/expansion of this activity also on social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok;
  • continuation of the administrative litigation proceedings registered with Bucharest Court of Appeal under case number: 6047/2/2018, concerning the challenge of ABDRC against the Decision no. 2377/DA/31.05.2018 issued by the Ministry of Economy on entering ABDRC in the list of ADR entities in Romania – the proceedings are pending before this court, and the court has ruled on the merits (after 4 years and 3 months, on 11 November 2022 à the administrative action was rejected. The judgment with reasoning was served on 17 October 2023, and ABDRC lodged an appeal on 31 October 2023);
  • approval of the financial statements executed as at 31 December 2022, and provision of information about the 2022 Audit Report;
  • election of the President of the Steering Board for a 1-year term of office.


2.  Communication, promotion, information and financial education by ABDRC

Communication takes place across the following levels (according to ABDRC’s communication strategy):

  • communication with banks and NBFIs (traders);
  • communication with consumers;
  • communication with the media;
  • communication with stakeholders;
  • communication with conciliators;
  • holding of work meetings with conciliators, whenever these are necessary, as part of the process of updating/reviewing the Regulation of the Procedural Secretariat and the ADR procedures, as the amicable dispute resolution work advances;
  • organizing working meetings with representatives of commercial banks (bilateral meetings) to improve the activity of alternative dispute resolution.


2.1. ABDRC’s Communication and Promotion Activity

Communication with, and information of consumers and traders about ABDRC take place via the following channels:

  • communication via the traditional media channels (TV, Radio, Written Press, Online, Blogging);
  • communication on alternative channels (street banners);
  • communication via own channels: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Tik-Tok;
  • organization of/participation in conferences, workshops, debates (also online), etc.;
  • communication via commercial banks (online and offline: leaflets, posters, stickers, video production);
  • communication via the National Authority for Consumer Protection (through the County Commissariats);
  • communication via consumer associations.


Summary of communication activities in 2023  

Useful information



Results achieved Between 1 January – 31 December 2023:

3,001 appearances/takeovers in national media (TV, radio and online), plus advertisements in national and local publications, as resulting from the media campaigns;

Appearance connotation: 51% neutral; 46.1% positive; 2.9% negative;

Reach (potential of public exposure to the messages conveyed, calculated based on the measured audiences): 27.7 million people (one person can be exposed to a message from more sources), of which the TV reach was 17.8 million;

>  the Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) is the estimated value of advertising materials, benchmarked against the cost of publishing a commercial in the same format. AVE exceeded EUR 2.56 million. The communication budget was EUR 120,000, and the budget projection for 2024 is EUR 130,000; website: more than 30,000 unique users (of which 19,000 via mobile phones);

>  The most hits came from Bucharest, Cluj and Timișoara, and the average time a user spent on the website was 2 minutes and 15 seconds;

Most hits came from the 45-54 age band. The pages most accessed were connected to the application filing app or were the pages that redirected the users to the app;

5,010 users accessed the application creation page, and each of them did it 2.4 times (on average), and the average time spent to fill out the application was 6 minutes and 50 seconds;

>  The organic and direct traffic accounts for more than 90% of the total website traffic, and this is proof of the increasing notoriety of the Centre (in searches for information via search engines, directly on the website, or redirected from social media);

>  The website’s chat launched in February 2020 and operated by the ABDRC Call Centre has been used by more than 300 users in 2023;

>  In 2023, more than 130 new videos were produced and promoted on the ABDRC website (under the new Financial Education section), on the YouTube channels, and on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Tik-Tok, in TV, radio and online campaigns, on blogs, or in the local media;

>  All ABDRC social media channels are updated weekly by a Social Media agency, selected by ABDRC following a pitch organized in August 2022.

· The figures are according to Google Analytics and the activity reports submitted by MediaTrust and Marketiu.

2. Communication campaigns In 2023, ABDRC carried out a financial education campaign through several strategies and information distribution channels

> 12 podcasts featuring presidents and vice-presidents of commercial banks (BCR, BRD, Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank, Raiffeisen, ING Bank, OTP Bank, EximBancaRomânească), conciliators, and representatives of the National Bank of Romania, the Romanian Association of Banks and ABDRC. They talked to journalists (editors-in-chief or founders of economic and legal publications), as well as to analysists in the financial and banking field;

>  These podcasts were followed by an integrated communication campaign in March-July, which included broadcasting of articles, video stories, newsletters, radio and TV shows, press releases;

Media partners of the financial education campaign: România TV, Profit News, Radio France International, Bursa, Hotnews,, Banking News,, Universul juridic, Bancherul,, Piața Financiară, Club antreprenor, and Spotmedia;

>  Each podcast episode was promoted in a campaign delivered in the local press and the blogging community;

6 LIVE dialogues between ABDRC conciliators, representatives of commercial banks and consumers of financial services and products. In March, April, May, June, September and November, ABDRC organized talks streamlined live on the Centre’s social media (Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin), where consumers could ask the guests questions, or they could have submitted their questions before, in order to get an answer during the LIVE streaming;

>  Each LIVE talk concluded with more videos summing up the talk on different topics, and these were promoted in press releases and newsletters, and were distributed via the social media channels;

>  Each LIVE production was promoted in Facebook lead generation campaigns (questions from consumers and contact data for outbound and newsletters), as well as in a LIVEs promotion campaign in the local press;

>  The video and text productions resulting from these campaigns were added to the ABDRC website channels (ABDRC website – under the Financial Education section, YouTube channels, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Tik-Tok pages) and were sent out via press releases and newsletters;

>  The website has an active chat where consumers can talk to a call-centre operator to clarify additional details. Using the call-centre operators, ABDRC kicked off an outbounding project where consumers who left their contact data in the awareness-raising campaigns run by ABDRC on Facebook are contacted by the call-centre operators, are guided on how to fill out their negotiation applications and are provided information about the Centre’s work;

>  In 2023, several pages and sections of the website were updated with information for consumers, the functionality has been improved, the types of requests in the IT application has been expanded. A development strategy was designed for the social media channels, and the content was adapted to the standards in this field;

National opinion poll conducted by the Centre for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS) via face-to-face interviews with 1,067 respondents who are household decision makers or co-makers when it comes to the relation with the bank. ABDRC x-rayed topics of interest and hot topics for the general public and for the banking system. The poll’s results were disseminated in press releases, TV shows and information provided by ABDRC in various media;

Conciliation promotion in the courts of law of Bucharest (Court of Appeal) and Arges (Arges Specialized Tribunal and Pitesti District Court), translated into meetings with judges, conveyance of messages in favour of alternative settlement in press releases and distribution of information materials (flyers) in courtrooms;

ABDRC runs a financial education mini-project in a number of schools and colleges of Bucharest (named Back To School), where it delivers financial education in meetings with the students and teachers of these education institutions.

>  ABDRC produced and sent to banks approximately 100,000 informative leaflets about the Centre’s activity;

>  In February 2023, ABDRC held its annual press conference attended by representatives of the Steering Board and the Body of Conciliators, and more than 20 radio, TV and written/online press journalists;

>  In the first half of the year, ABDRC ran a communication campaign with street electronic displays placed in shopping centres of 4 Romania cities (Bucharest – 2 venues, Arad, Bistrita and Targu Mures).

3. Conferences/participation in events ABDRC Press Conference – 2022 Report, with physical participation of 25 journalists, Bucharest, 1 February;

Work Meeting – Automation of Financial Services, Chamber of Deputies, Committee for Automation and Future of Work, Bucharest, 25 April;

Prize for its Financial and Legal Education Campaign, Legal Magazine, Bucharest, 25 April;

Financial Education Marathon, Profit News, Bucharest, 27 April;

“Perspectives in Banking and Financial Law” International Conference – 16th Edition, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, 12 May;

Excellence Prize for Promotion of Financial Education in Top Bankers Gala, Finmedia, Bucharest, 20 June;

>  Conference – Financial and Banking Market, Bursa Newspaper, 28 June;

>  Conference – Digitalization of Romania, Bursa Newspaper, 11 July;

Conference – Role of Central Banks in Contemporary Economies: Beyond Price Stability, National Bank of Romania, Bucharest, 14 September;

Conference – What’s Next in Consumer Behaviour?, iSense Solutions, București, 21 September;

DigiCon – Conference Innovation in Digital Marketing, Marketiu, Bucharest, 20 October;

>  Debate – Trends in Cybercrime and Online Crime,, online, 6 November; Gala – Profit Stories, Bucharest, 9 November;

Romanian Banking Forum – Banking System Facing New Challenges, FinMedia, Bucharest, 14 November;

Conference ESOMAR CONNECT – Macro-Trends in Romanian Consumers Behaviour, Bucharest, 15 November;

Banking Law Forum, Universul Juridic, Bucharest, 17 November;

Bursa Newspaper Gala, Bucharest, 21 November;

18 Years of Banking News Gala, Bucharest, 4 December;

Work Meeting to the Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution Measures in Courts of Law –Ministry of Justice, at the initiate of the Association of Romanian Magistrates, 8 December, Bucharest;

Piata Financiara Magazine Prize-Awarding Gala, 12 December;

Launch of the Coalition for Financial Inclusion – This Is Your Money, Chamber of Deputies, 13 December.

4. Activities of ABDRC’s PR Department >  Writing and deploying the communication strategy;

>  Executing the communication campaign and projects, producing podcasts and moderating LIVEs;

>  PR-ing the participation in TV and radio shows, the online and written press coverage, the individual interviews, and the participation in public conferences/events;

>  Writing and sending out the monthly press releases and afterwards the monitoring reports to ABDRC’s Steering Board;

>  Preparing, implementing, and providing supervision to, the media campaigns and media-buying projects; coordinating and producing medial advertisements; broking media partnerships;

>  Coordinating the external suppliers for various communication campaigns (photos, cameramen, montage editors, DTP, printing, creative agencies, event organizers, etc.);

>  Preparing PPT presentations, activity reports, messages to the public and articles under media partnerships;

>  Creation and production: development of photo, video and text materials for, providing supervision to, and editing, the Social Media posts;

>  Reworking and updating: fliers, folders, infographs, logo, roll-ups, posters, visuals, banners, slogan, promotional materials, etc.;

>  Coordination of the website and YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tik-Tok pages activity: updating of the website’s content, posts and attracting followers to the social media, uploading of video materials on the YouTube channel, Facebook and LinkedIn;

>  Project management, development and implementation of a Financial Education section on the website;

>  Newsletter production and distribution;

>  Supervision of the online chat, call-centre, and dialogue by email and via Facebook and LinkedIn with consumers;

>  Coordinating the work of the PR agency Propaganda;

>  Coordinating the work of Marketiu, the Social Media agency;

>  Coordinating the work of MediaTrust, the Media Monitoring agency;

>  Coordinating the activity on the website and involvement in improving the access to, and operation of the IT app with the aim of improving the costumer experience with the app;

>  Communication with the PR officers of commercial banks and NBFIs, the ABDRC conciliators, and the representatives of consumer associations (for organization of various events, media appearances and communication actions);

5. Activities of the Communication Agency, Propaganda >  Coordination and implementation of the ABDRC flyers printout project in 2023;

>  Coordination and implementation of the financial education project for students: Back To School.



Activities of the Social Media Agency, Marketiu >  In September 2022, Marketiu took over the management of ABDRC’s social media content and posts;

>  Audience segmentation and channel-specific communication strategy;

>  Content production and promotion strategy (content pillars, topic mix);

>  Channel-specific posting strategy and content production instructions;

>  Creation of a TikTok account and profile optimization;

>  Creation of a LinkedIn page (existing LinkedIn profile).

Facebook (September 2022 – September 2023)

New followers: + 412 (increase from 4,200 likes to 4,600 likes). 10% increase – the average annual increase of the Facebook pages is 1-3%.

Organic impressions (how many times the posts were seen): 143,483. This means that we went way beyond the limited circle of our page’s audience, reaching 30 times more persons than the followers of our page.

Paid impressions (how many times the Facebook ads were seen): 768,890. Total reached users (paid + organic): 683,775 More than half a million unique persons saw our Facebook posts and ads.

Engagement (likes, shares, comments, clicks): 33,734.

Persons who interacted with the posts: 8,141 1.2% of the people who saw our posts and ads also interacted with them. The Facebook interaction average is between 0.5 and 1%.

Published posts: 253.

Average statistics: Average no. of posts/month: 23.

Average no. of organic impressions/month: 13,000 Every month, we organically reached the triple number of page followers.

YouTube (September 2022 – September 2023)

New followers: + 113 (from 559 to 672 followers). A 20% increase in the number of followers.

Views: 307.6K (both organic and in paid campaigns for podcasts and shorts).

View time: 20.8K hours.

Average view time (classical video + shorts): 1:39 minutes Classical videos – average view time: 10:00 minutes – A very good view time considering the length of the classical videos posted (most are podcasts between 40 and 60 minutes).

Classical videos posted: 35.

YouTube Shorts posted: 115.

7. ABDRC website In 2023, a number of functional changes/upgrades were operated to the website, including: video slider building, design updating, updating the Financial Education section, changes to the app (section intended to filling out an application).

In 2023, the website administration included:

–       Major updated of the WordPress version and databases;

–       Regular updates of the WordPress version and modules;

–       Collection of consumer feedback and tracking of the users’ behaviour on the website;

–       Google Analytics reports;

–       Implementation of Google Analytics4 the new reporting interface;

–       Re-updating the Romanian and English versions of the website;

–       On-going updating of the website with press releases, activity reports, news, announcements, presentations, testimonials, photo gallery, etc.

–       Image alignment on content categories, rewording titles to optimize them for mobile, subdomain changes;

–       User experience optimizations for desktop and mobile;

–       SEO optimizations – on page – headlines, errors reported by Google Search Console;

–       Server administration – changes to the applications subdomain => form;

–       Creation/modification of the Landing pages;

–       Debugging.


Operational Report

This report is produced on a weekly basis and is submitted for review to the Steering Board (anonymised), and is updated quarterly (from statistics point of view) for posting on the ABDRC website.

The last quarterly report posted on the website contains data and information updated as at 30 September 2023 (next on 31 December 2023).

9. Register of structures of banks/NBFIs and consumer

associations tasked with liaising with ABDRC

This contains:

– email addresses;

– contact persons;

– phone numbers.

2.2. Information and financial education

Consumer information about ABDRC and their financial education is performed via the following channels:

  • Communication via the traditional media channels (TV, Radio, Written Press, Online) by campaigning the work of ABDRC, the cases resolved and the benefits of conciliation in news, talk-shows, financial education media projects, public awareness campaigns, etc.;
  • Communication via own channels: Website, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik-Tok;
  • Creation of a financial education section on the website;
  • Sending out 23 newsletters to more than 500 subscribers;
  • Call-centre operators (outbound) calling more than 1,000 consumers who had agreed to be contacted after the Facebook lead generation campaigns;
  • Running together with the social media agency Marketiu a campaign to promote financial education messages on the YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik-Tok channels;
  • Communication to the press through press releases and media campaigns in the local press, online and in collaboration with various media entities;
  • Participation in financial education projects with institutions, such as the National Bank of Romania, the Academy of Economic Studies, independent bodies (Sută la Sută Românesc – Tribuna Consumatorilor Association), and with media institutions (România TV, Profit News TV, Bursa, Radio France International, Hotnews,, Banking News,, Universul juridic, Bancherul,, Piața Financiară, Club antreprenor, and Spotmedia);
  • Call-centre activity, reporting, regular training, operation of the ABDRC website chat, message adaptation;
  • Organization of/participation in conferences, workshops, webinars, etc. (face-to-face and online);
  • Financial education through the ABDRC conciliators: press coverage to promote the work of the Centre further to issuing of press releases;
  • Videos (distributed in the media and on ABDRC’s own channels) where journalists, presidents and vice-presidents of commercial banks, and representatives of the National Bank of Romania, the Romanian Association of Banks and ABDRC advise consumers on financial education topics;
  • Provision of information via commercial banks:
  • press-releases involving financial and banking institutions;
  • participation of bank representatives in interviews and video productions;
  • promotion of the representatives of commercial bank and the Romanian Association of Banks in media campaigns, stand-alone communication projects and online, whereby consumers are urged to pursue conciliation;
  • Distribution of 100,000 information flyers about ABDRC’s work to banks.
  • Provision of information via courts of law
  • Press releases involving court presidents and judges (from the County of Arges);
  • Submission and distribution of ABDRC information flyers in courts of law (from the County of Arges).
  • Provision of information via the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC) (via certain county commissariats) and the consumer protection associations.

3.  Other administrative activities

3.1. Ensuring observance by the Centre of the personal data protection rules

ABDRC has put in place a number of technical and organizational measures to protect natural persons in terms of personal data processing (as early as 2018, when Regulation No 679/2016 came into force):

  • internal and external work procedures acknowledged by employees and collaborators;
  • ensuring adequate security for the data and information of any kind held by ABDRC, as well as compliance with the backup and disaster recovery requirements by putting in place the necessary systems (Antivirus, SOC – Security Operations Centre, DLP – Data Loss Prevention etc.);
  • a VPN solution with a view to keeping secure the work equipment and materials for each employee and collaborator of ABDRC (via connection to the secured Internet network of the Centre), for work-from-home cases;
  • compliance by employees/collaborators with the data protection requirements is regularly reviewed.


3.2. Call-Centre

  • The call-centre is used also to collect several categories of information about the subject-matter of the consumers’ enquiries, and/or about the sources they found about the Centre from. à This data is used including in our communication actions by narrowing-down the scope of the promotion efforts to the most relevant/efficient means of conveying information about the availability and services of ABDRC.


III. Operational activity of ABDRC

The operational activity of ABDRC is detailed in the Annex which is an integral part of this document.

IV. Conclusions

The ABDRC services continue to be accessed by the Romanian consumers, the number of applications recorded in 2023 exceeding the figure of 2022 (2,932 applications filed v a total of 2,627 applications in 2022; the weekly average is higher in 2023, with 56 applications/week as compared to 50 applications/week in 2022).


Benefits of conciliation:

  • avoidance of court proceedings, and continuation of the contractual relations between the parties;
  • short case settlement time (less than 90 days);
  • no charges for consumers, and
  • expertise of conciliators (the members of the Body of Conciliators are individuals with at least 10 years of expertise in the financial and banking area, and are well known for their professional and educational background and reputation);

are strong arguments for both the consumers, and the financial and banking institutions involved in these negotiations, particularly during such economically difficult times as we have gone through over the last 4 years (2020 – 2023) and we still expect to face in 2024, too.


In this context, the following are key findings about the first 8 years of operation:

  • taking further the activities aimed at raising awareness of consumers, in particular with the support of traders, about of the benefits of accessing the services provided by ABDRC;
  • the need to determine/convince consumers and traders to opt for (negotiation-based) alternative dispute resolution methods, avoiding the contentious way, in court proceedings, and, additionally, redirecting some of the disputes currently pending before courts towards ABDRC to be settled amicably, through conciliation (in years 2021-2023, 502 cases/casefiles pending before the courts of law were settled with the aid of ABDRC conciliators, at the initiatives of either the banks or the consumers involved in these proceedings);
  • the need to determine and put in place systematic/concerted communication techniques to promote the Centre and capture the interest of consumers, and create a fostering environment among consumers;
  • the NBFIs need to become more open to entering the conciliation procedure, and both the banks and the NBFIs should reduce their number of applications unreasonably closed;
  • a key finding from work of the Centre so far is that both parties have a good appetite for the procedure with proposed solution/conciliation, to the detriment of the procedure with enforced solution/arbitration (to date, no case has been ever settled pursuing the procedure with enforced solution/arbitration);
  • as of Q1 2020, ABDRC can also address conciliation applications received from legal entities related to payment services and issuing of electronic money; it has been proven that legal entities are off to a more difficult start of conciliation because corporate bank customers have filed such applications before, but, with one exception, traders refuses to embark in such procedures;
  • ABDRC has proven an extraordinary capacity to adapt its work to the requirements of online work, as follows: approximately 96% of the Centre’s work was rendered online, and conciliators continued to remotely facilitate the negotiations between consumers and banks/NBFIs (via email and over the phone). Additionally, the IT tool (which went live in July 2018, and was completely rewritten in Power Automate in 2023, with the new version going live on 10 October 2023) which is used to manage the applications and casefiles directly on the ABDRC website, has proven its efficiency during the entire time when the Centre intermediated continues to smoothly intermediate the relation between consumers and traders;
  • the support of the competent authority (currently, this is the Ministry of Energy) is required to achieve cross-border cooperation and registration of ABDRC on the European online platform (ODR – Online Dispute Resolution) and with FIN-NET.





In 2023, ABDRC made a number of recommendations to banks (as early as late Q1 2023):

  1. The consumer applications referred by ABDRC to banks should be reviewed by the credit institution with the amount of flexibility required for the parties to reach an agreement. Essentially, the aim is to decrease, and keep, the number/share of closed application below 10%.

Am important share of the closed applications were rejected for valid reasons. For instance, in 2023, there were 1,234 applications concerning deregistration from the Credit Register: 395 applications in relation to banks (representing 21% of the total applications intended to banks) + 839 requests in relation to NBFIs (representing 80% of all applications intended to NBFIs). It should be recalled that most of the applications concerning the Credit Office, the First House programme or assigned loans are rejected because, on a case-by-case basis, these are governed by a special piece of legislation which leaves but limited, if no room at all for negotiation.


  1. Our recommendation was to try to increase the number of applications turned into cases given also the following:
    • consideration will be given to the possibility of putting an end to the current court proceedings further to settlement of an application via ABDRC, as well as to the possibility of identifying customers with potential problems and guiding them towards ABDRC (thus avoiding courts cases as the problems concerned are addressed under the cases formed and settled via the Centre);
    • the applications entering the restructuring or forced execution flows may also be settled/negotiated via ABDRC;
    • when an application is initially closed, but a solution is later found for the consumer, the trader may inform the client thereof and recommend them to fila a new application with ABDRC (unless the claims therein can be addressed directly, through direct amicable settlement between the parties).


  1. The mandates granted by banks are recommended to include value caps that are different from/higher than those set out in the commercial offers of the respective banks’ portfolio, thus proving the usefulness and benefits of settlement via ABDRC, further to the consumer rejecting the bank’s initial offer (in the amicable settlement attempt).


  1. The banks are recommended to consider from the very beginning the amicable settlement of low complexity cases that would otherwise end up with ABDRC, in case of a refusal by the consumer.


  1. Considering the widening of ABDRC’s powers to cover also for legal entities, banks are recommended accept also cases that involve this category of customers.


Final conclusions

  • Over its 8 years of operation, ABDRC has proven that this new paradigm – an alternative way of resolving disputes – is a win-win approach for both consumers and traders. The possibility that both parties can be involved in changing certain given characteristics of a contractual framework is the starting point for a shift of mindset about the banking contracts/services, at the level of society;


  • Thus, parties can understand one another and forge a mutual-trust relationship, this being one of the key benefits brought along by the ADR procedures in time, and the facts and figures stand proof thereof: since its establishment, 3,272 cases concluded with the parties coming to terms with the aid and facilitation of one of ABDRC’s conciliators. To this add another 091 amicable settlements between the parties, after consumers having firsts referred the matter to the Banking ADR Centre;
  • Conciliation via ABDRC should become the alternative of choice for a consumer when they need to address a problem with the traders in the financial and banking system, to the detriment of the actions brought before courts or other litigation-based methods;


  • Consumers are encouraged to keep an open mind to building a trust-based relationship with the bank, considering that the problems reported by consumers are understood and accepted by the bank when they are objective/justified and reasonable. Also, the fine-tuning of the conciliation mechanisms, added to the banks’ willingness to adopt a flexible attitude to the requests received from customers can help constantly and significantly increase the number of successful applications with contributions from all parties.
  • There is a need for more visibility in advancing the possibility that the Centre addresses also disputes that involve legal entities (on matters concerning payments and issuing of electronic money), with a view to improving the business environment and the mutual trust between the providers of such services and companies or public institutions: the first and only negotiation between a company and a bank concluded with the parties reaching an agreement (this concerned a payment operation) in 2022.
  • In 2023, 290 court cases were discontinued because the parties wanted and managed to find an amicable solution in ABDRC. This is an important (double) increase compared to the 145 such cases we recorded in the entire 2021 and the 67 in 2022. In July 2022, ABDRC asked the High Court of Cassation and Justice and the 15 Courts of Appeal across the county to provide their judges with information, and that these recommended the amicable settlement of the disputes between consumers and banks/NBFIs. In 2023, conciliation started to be promoted in the courts of law of Arges, and ABDRC continues to employ efforts to make more popular, and ensure media coverage for, the alternative resolution through the courts of law of other counties of the country.
  • Public opinion was and continues to be polled – opinion polls carried out by ABDRC in 2022 and 2023 with and CURS – and their results provide an x-raying of topics of interest and hot topics for the general public and for the banking system and underpinned the press releases and information released in different media;
  • The constant involvement of all stakeholders (the National Bank of Romania, the Romanian Association of Banks, the consumer protection associations) will help a constant and important development in time of this type of settlement, as well as build a trust-based relationship between consumers and banks/NBFIs.




on the operational activity of


as at 31 December 2023

The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre started its alternative dispute resolution operational activity on 1 March 2016.

In 2023, 4,607 written applications and 2,157 phone calls were received from consumers, and 2,932 of the written applications were found compliant, 367 were incompliant, and 1.308 were requests for information. Distribution of the complete casefiles to conciliators is done randomly, depending of the availability and workload of each conciliator.

Consumers used the following means to submit their applications (for the 2,932 compliant applications): 1,885 compliant applications concerning banks (filed by consumers/individuals) + 1.047 compliant applications concerning NBFIs.

For Banks:


  • 1,007 were submitted online, via the ABDRC website;
  • 786 were e-mailed;
  • 62 were brought to, and registered personally by consumers with, the office of ABDRC;
  • 24 were mailed.

Legal Entities:

  • 5 were submitted online, via the ABDRC website;
  • 1 request received by email;

For NBFIs:

  • 931 were submitted online, via the ABDRC website;
  • 111 were e-mailed;
  • 4 were brought to, and registered by consumers with, the office of ABDRC.
  • 1 was mailed.

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The applications received from consumers covered the following topics:

  • Problems in connection with credit products:
  • Credit Office (deregistration from CO);
  • Refunds (of fees/commissions, interest);
  • Shift from ROBOR to IRCC;
  • Reduction of loan principal/debt/instalment, or writing off overdue amounts;
  • Rescheduling/refinancing/staging-out;
  • Agreement renegotiation/rebalancing (including for hardship);
  • Finding a solution to address the problems (in general);
  • Conversion of the loan currency;
  • Problems with insurance policies (bancassurance);
  • Interest recalculation;
  • Payment commitments;
  • Maturity acceleration;
  • Removal of certain clauses.


  • Operational problems:
  • Problems with operation of the ATMs (including refunds);
  • Problems in connection with wire transfers and refunds of transaction fees;
  • Refunds in case of processing errors;
  • Recovery of amount wrongly transferred by consumers (internet banking);
  • Provision of clarifications about calculation of the amounts withdrawn by banks from the credit card account;
  • Other card-related problems (cancellation/name change);
  • Problems in connection with the exchange rate and interests charged when using the cards abroad;
  • Problems regarding inter-banking transfers.


  • Problems related to other types of activities:
  • Problems in connection with forced execution (suspensions/stays of proceedings);
  • Requests to be issued documents (repayment schedules, statement of account, etc.);
  • Refunds of garnished amounts;
  • Mortgage deregistration;
  • Fraud committed via bank channels.


The main reason for closing applications is the refusal of traders to have the dispute settle via the ADR procedure, and the closing reasons can fall into a number of categories:

  • Good reasons (main) – the application concerns:
    • deregistration of entries from the Credit Office;
    • “First House” loans;
    • assigned claims;
    • the state premium under saving-credit contracts.


  • Reasons related to consumers:
  • selection of a trader the business of which is not regulated by the National Bank of Romania;
  • selection of a trader they don’t have commercial relations with;
  • the information/documents required for resolving the application have not been supplied;
  • the consumer does not reply within 90 days;
  • the consumer withdraws.


  • Other reasons:
  • pending court proceedings;
  • forced execution procedures have already been initiated;
  • traders made several offers, but all of them were turned down by consumers (before approaching ABDRC), and traders maintain their point of view in the initial answer sent to consumers;
  • lack of grounds (claimed by the trader).

Qualification of the 2,932 compliant applications:

For banks (of the 1,885 compliant applications recorded):

  • 754 turned into cases (7 cases from applications submitted at the end of 2022);  
  • 83 in screening phase;
  • 204 settled amicably after a referral to ABDRC + adjoined;
  • 851 closed.

For NBFIs (of the 1,047 compliant applications recorded):

  • 4 turned into cases (1 case from applications submitted at the end of 2022);
  • 91 in screening phase;
  • 361 settled amicably after referral to ABDRC;
  • 592 closed.

A total of 174 applications (83 concerning banks and 91 concerning NBFIs) are in screening phase (documentation is reviewed for completeness, and information and supporting documents are requested).

Qualification of the 754 cases undergoing the procedure with proposed solution (as at 31 December 2023):

For banks:

  • 9 preliminary cases;
  • 23 cases in the phase of discussions with the parties;
  • 657 resolutions;
  • 57 reports;
  • 8 cases where one of the parties withdrew from the procedure;

Qualification of the 4 cases undergoing the procedure with proposed solution (as at 31 December 2023):

For NBFIs:

  • 0 cases in the phase of discussions with the parties;
  • 4 resolutions;
  • 0 preliminary cases;
  • 0 reports.

At the end of 2023, the negotiation procedures involving consumers and banks facilitated by ABDRC resulted into benefits in excess of approx. EUR 3,3 million. Thus, the total amount of the benefits obtained (in all 8 years of operational activity of the Centre) is approx. EUR 11.3 million;


The WEBSITE provides information about:

  • Regulation for organization of the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre and for functioning of the Steering Board;
  • Procedural Rules regarding:
    • ADR procedure concluded with proposal of a solution;
    • ADR procedure concluded with enforcement of a solution;
    • ADR procedure concluded with proposal of a solution for legal entities;
    • ADR Procedure concluded with enforcement of a solution for legal entities;
  • Steering Board;
  • List of Conciliators;
  • Short contact number: 021 9414, available every day between 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM;
  • Press releases and media coverage;
  • Miscellaneous useful information for consumers and traders.