Press Release – Annual Report 2017

The number of conciliation casefiles resolved favourably for the parties increased by almost five times in 2017
The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC) has become an alternative for increasingly more clients who are not happy with their relations with banks or NBFIs.

In 2017, the Center managed as many as 1,165 written applications, that is 148% more than in 2016. Meanwhile, 2017 confirmed the increasing openness of the banks towards resolution of disputes through the Center and with the help of conciliators. The number of applications which turned into casefiles, meaning which were accepted by banks or NBFIs to be resolved by ABDRC went up to 214 casefile, that is almost five times more than in the previous year.

At the same time, consumers are increasingly better informed of ABDRC and the services it provides, with 505 compliant applications received in 2017, that is 115% more than in 2016.

“The figures for last year come to confirm that ABDRC has been selected increasingly more often as an alternative by consumers and banks equally. We continue to expect the ascending trend in the number of applications and casefiles to continue as long as both consumers and banks become increasingly more aware and appreciative of the benefits provided by alternative resolution. We hope that, sooner rather than later, ABDRC would become the option of choice for resolution of the disputes between consumers and banking and non-banking financial institutions”, declared Alexandru Păunescu, member of the Steering Board of the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center (ABDRC).

The fact that alternative resolution is considered by increasingly more consumers who are not happy with their relation with their bank or NBFI is highlighted also by the high number of requests for information received by ABDRC by phone, that is more than 7,000 only last year.

The most frequent requests received from consumers concern fee reduction, loan rescheduling or reduction of the monthly instalment. The ABDRC conciliators have offered solutions accepted by both parties in 115 casefiles in 2017, meaning almost five times more than in 2016, when only 24 casefiles concluded with resolution. Progress has also been made in terms of reports, meaning the casefiles in which the parties could not reach a convenient compromise solution. In 2016, almost half of casefiles concluded with reports (20 casefiles out of a total of 46 casefiles managed by ABDRC), while in 2017 we have 24 casefiles concluded with reports out of 141 casefiles resolved.

The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center is an independent apolitical not-for-profit body of public interest established which aims to provide consumers with out-of-court balanced, expeditious and free-of-charge resolutions for their disputes with banks.

ABDRC manages the necessary infrastructure for alternative resolution through two types of procedures: proposing a solution (conciliation), or imposing a solution (arbitration). Conciliators/arbitrators designated to resolve disputes either propose or impose a solution, term of the procedure selected, further to a documentary review, and discussions with the parties. For the time being, ABDRC has 15 conciliators who review the casefiles and submit a dispute resolution solution.