Ghizzoni said in Milan he regularly calls even the chief executive of the Italy-based subsidiary in Romania, Rasvan Radu to loosen credit constraints and start giving out loans. The exceptions are subsidiaries in Turkey and Poland, where demand remained high.

He added financing costs have increased lately.

The head of UniCredit’s CEE banking operations stressed that large groups with presence in Romania have made considerable efforts to meet Vienna agreement (whereby banks have committed to provide capital to subsidiaries in cash-strapped economies) due to low demand, and said he asked the Government to issue more short-term treasury bills.

He added Romania was a market with considerable growth potential and that the Italian group was considering further business development opportunities.

“The 100 units opened in 2008 are faring better than old outlets, so the decision to expand the chain was timely”, said Ghizzoni. UniCredit Tiriac Bank has 240 branches across the country.