What Have Consumers Asked from the Banks? Benefits Obtained from Negotiation, 70% Higher than before the Healthcare Crisis

The last two years of crisis have significantly altered the profile of consumers approaching the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC). Having reviewed the 2,525 applications for negotiation with banks/NBFIs filed to ABDRC in 2021, we see that the consumer’s profile of financial and banking services is prevailingly a man of Bucharest, aged between 41 and 50 years, with a personal loan in RON, who asks the bank to reduce their lending costs. The benefits obtained from negotiation are significantly higher than in the year before the crisis. While the average amount of the benefits obtained from a negotiation used to be approx. EUR 2,500 in 2019, this year it went above EUR 4,300.



“Over the last two years, we have seen conciliation becoming more professional, but also better results obtained further to the negotiations between consumers and banks. While the number of negotiation cases we have dealt with was lower than in the peak year 2019 (555 cases in 2021 v 664 cases in 2019), last year was the best when it comes to negotiations concluded with reconciliation of the parties. In fact, 9 out of 10 negotiations concluded with the two parties accepting the solutions proposed by the ABDRC conciliators. This was fostered also by the recommendations we had made to banks to accept as many consumer applications as possible. For instance, we recommended the banks to re-examine the initially rejected applications, particularly when consumers produce arguments in support of their claims. The outcome was that the banks reconsidered their initial rejection, and set in motion cases for a number of consumers. We expect to see this mode of operation mainstreaming in how banks review applications and decide whether to enter negotiations or not. Consumers feel this, too: the average amount of the conciliation benefits increased by 70% v 2019 – from EUR 2,530 up to EUR 4,300 per case concluded with reconciliation of the parties. Thus, if we are to take out the applications falling outside the scope of negotiation, such as applications for deregistration from the Credit Office, we can say that more than 80% of consumers approached ABDRC with a grounded claims against banks, and found a way to have their problems solved”, says Alexandru Păunescu, member of the ABDRC Steering Board.


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 out an online form directly on the website www.csalb.ro. Once 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).