The specialists of the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC) were in Cluj-Napoca on Wednesday, 20 June, to present the benefits of amicable settlement, part of the ABDRC ROADSHOW.

The ABDRC ROADSHOW, a project which takes a group of specialists of ABDRC to the main cities of the country to help consumers of financial and banking products find solutions to their disagreements with banks or NBFIs, arrived in Cluj-Napoca.

The event, organized in partnership with the Cluj-Napoca City Hall, brought to the attention of the inhabitants of this city the two procedures available for dispute resolution, namely conciliation and arbitration.

Conciliation or the proposed solution is free of charge for consumers, and the parties may withdraw therefrom at any time. This procedure is more flexible, allows for more room for negotiation between the parties, and the parties may either refuse or further renegotiate the solution, when there is willingness to do so.

Arbitration or the imposed solution is also free of charge for consumers, but it concludes with rendering of a solution which is binding on both parties. This procedure resembles the court proceedings, but the terms are shorter, thus allowing the case be resolved in not longer than 90 days, and can be agreed upon by the parties. Parties may not withdrawn from the procedure once the Arbitral Tribunal has been appointed.

“Alternative banking dispute resolution provides many benefits to both consumers and trade, as well to courts of law, but taking off some of their workload. Alternative resolution has a long history in Europe, but the Romanian ABDRC was only established in 2016. Nevertheless, we can say that it has been constantly growing and enjoying increasingly more interest from consumers ever since. Alternative resolution brings along benefits in terms of cost – it is free of charge for consumers-, as well as time – files are settled in not more than 90 days benefits, while restoring trust-based relations between consumers and trades”, declared Alexandru Păunescu, member of the ABDRC Steering Board.

The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC), an European not-for-profit entity of public interest, aims to provide out-of-court balanced, expeditious and free-of-charge resolutions for the disputes between banks and their clients. Only natural persons may refer a matter to ABDRC.

Close to 1,000 people had made written applications to the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre by mid June, of which 507 were compliant applications, according to the latest data. To these, we add other 3,000 inquiries and questions received by phone, which show the increasing interest of consumers in alternative dispute resolution.