Poll: Flat interest is deemed the best solution to cope with the increase in instalment amount

The flat interest is seen by 39% of Romanians as the best solution for them, even if their rate is higher than the floating interest rate. This is a key finding of an opinion poll conducted by the banking comparison tool Finzoom.ro and commissioned by the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC). Negotiation with banks via ABDRC is ranked high among the options of consumers seeking to have their financial situation improved, following refinancing with their own bank (8%) and early repayment (7%). The measures liable to turn into court cases, such as datio in solutum, is an alternative of choice for only 1% of the 1,484 respondents to the questionnaire. This shows that families facing higher instalments are willing to find a solution to their financial problems that would allow them to continue the contractual relations, and not lose the mortgage property they live in (in most of the cases).



The difficult times debtors go through due to the general economic situation and the rise in interest rate make Romanian caution when it comes to contracting a loan in the upcoming period. According to their answers to the questionnaire “The Relation with Your Bank“, the option of choice for 30% of respondents is not to borrow in the upcoming period. The next ranked answer (26%) is to take a personal loan or go for a credit card. Thus, the borrow amount would be lower and easier to pay. Loans from family or friends are an option for 16% of consumers, while a house loan is fancied by only 7% of Romanians at this time.


Looking into the category who have loans in progress (37% of respondents do not have loans), more than have of them (55%) are indebted with less than a quarter of their income. The indebtedness level of a third of them is between 25% and 50% of their income, and their ability to further repay the loans is now questionable. A worrying situation and also a red flag for the credit institutions is the 13% of the loan holders who state that their indebtedness exceeds half of the family income.


Asked “What are your biggest fears about the future and what could cause you financial difficulties?” (a multiple choice question), most consider that losing their job (60%) is the biggest threat to their financial situation. The change in the economic situation due to inflation, the war or the pandemic is a concern for 51% of the respondents. The increase in interest rates ranks only 5th among the reasons for concern (36%), after medical problems (47%) and lower salaries (45%). The concerns listed above, when they become reality, are grounded and objective reasons for potentially filing for negotiation with the bank via ABDRC.


Alexandru Păunescu, representative of the National Bank of Romania in the ABDRC’s Steering Board: “We do hope that the results of the questionnaire would be useful to bans in their attempt to better understand the difficulties and expectations of consumers of financial services. We see people expecting good offers of either flat interest rates, or loan refinancing, which have become costly due to the rise in interest rates, but they also want to find solutions for their problems via ABDRC. Furthermore, the market in new loans has already shrunk, and this exerts additional pressure on the already low Romanian financial intermediation segment, which is at only 27%, i.e. the lowest of the EU. Any strategy banks decide to employ, including in an attempt to plug in this financial intermediation gap, should enhance clients’ confidence that they can rely on their financial institution, particularly in difficult times, such those we are going through now.

Irina Chițu, Financial Analyst and Director of the Banking Comparison Tool FinZoom.ro: The questionnaire emphasized, among other things, an important aspect: the burden of loans is not by far the heaviest in the budget of a family, and is outranked by the higher prices of food (55%) and utilities (54%). The impact of instalments on this budget ranks only 3rd (34%). In order to cope with all the challenges of these times, each of us should take a very good look into our family budget and act to cut down our expenses: by reducing consumption, eliminating waste, and negotiating all contracts with the suppliers of utilities, as well as the banking contracts (which negotiation can be either directly with the bank, or free of charge via a ABDRC conciliator). The prices of electricity, gas, food or fuel, as well as the products and services of all banks can be now compared online, and consumers can make informed choices.”


The opinion poll “The Relation with Your Bank” was conducted in August-September 2022, and the questionnaire was filled out by 1,484 respondents, most of them being aged between 25 and 55 years (70%), employed (62%), and with monthly income between RON 2,500 – 5,000 (39%).

About ABDRC: ABDRC is an entity set up under a European Directive, and intermediates, free of charge and in not more than three months, negotiations between consumers and banks or NBFIs, for contracts/agreements in progress. Consumers from any county of the country may file applications with the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC) filling-in an online form directly on the website www.csalb.ro. When the bank accepts to enter the conciliation negotiation procedure, a conciliator is appointed. ABDRC works with 19 conciliators, of the best specialists in law and with relevant experience also in the financial and banking field. Everything is settled amicably, and the understanding between the parties has the power of court judgment. More information about the work of the Centre is available by phone at 021 9414 (charged a normal rate).