“In Romania we are far from market saturation, and this type of service is starting to become popular. The development pace of banking brokerage industry will be fast, and conditioned by the evolution of the banking system. Although at this point, the credit volume granted by banks will shrink, the advisory service will gain ground, especially due to this gloomy climate”, said Raluca Dobre, financial analyst at IpoteciDirect.

Local industry of banking brokerage is far from European market, where up to 70% of the credits come from intermediations; in Romania less than 5% of the credits are intermediated by brokers.

“As for loan brokerage market, using a loan broker becomes a necessity. As we see in these days, not only the need of a loan, but also the access to information, selection of the context and objective advice are needs for which our clients get in touch with us,” said Anca Bidian (photo), CEO of Kiwi Finance.

This uncertain period will temper down the frenzy in the last two years in accessing a loan, a target to avoid inflationary pressures geared by the consumption, set also by National Bank of Romania by harshening lending conditions. Furthermore, we will witness a sustainable growth normality, which emphasizes a maturing market.

“In this context, the role of a broker will become more necessary and important, both for clients who will seek a specialized and objective advice, and for financial partners who have an effective channel to draw new clients via partnerships with brokers. We will witness a selection of banking brokerage companies which will emerge by quality of services, professionalism and responsibility”, said Bidian, head of Romania’s banking brokerage leader.

Loan brokerage market, specialists say, underwent a chaotic development and although slightly fragmented, it is likely to witness several changes in the forthcoming period.

Dobre thinks that brokers who will not carry out activity “under umbrella”, will stop being successful. Thus, what is left is to divert direction or to join an advisory company.

“The financial advisory will not be made at the street’s corner any longer, but in a professional environment provided by well-trained persons and who hold the appropriate instruments”, she mentioned.

On the other hand, the evolution of the brokerage market depends on many factors: “Firstly, it is very important the reliability and professionalism that banking brokerage companies will prove. Secondly, it is the way in which Romania will manage the crisis and the international context,” said Liviu Andrei, executive manager at DBSol Consulting, loan broker that holds 17 franchises and two units.

However, the loan brokerage market in Romania is undergoing a downward trend, as specialists say, and in the next five years, the market will peak 15-20% of overall banking retail in Romania.

Sorin Moncea, managing partner at International Brokers, said: “We estimate that the market will be almost fully blocked in the following two months and this will lay an enormous pressure on brokerage companies with broad exposure in terms of office number/staff/logistic. The market will enhance activity as of February/March 2009