“After the talks with BNR, we intend on requesting the increase of indebtedness degree for mortgage borrowers, so that the best clients could meet the requirements of a top level of 70%, and the average of all borrowers to be 45%”, said Mititelu, quoted by NewsIn.

He expects no major amendments for credit interest policy in 2009, and anticipates a slight increase of indebtedness degree.

In January 15 session, the board of BNR approved the amendments of the lending regulation, which were tightened in the second half of last year.

Thus, “lenders would have the possibility to calculate a higher indebtedness level for the borrowers that would have high-quality real estate assets as collateral for their credits”, however the lending development will hinge mainly on lenders' capability to sustainably raise the necessary financial resources.

“However, it is up to lenders themselves to set the actual lending and risk management conditions via their own lending rules, provided that they comply with the NBR guidelines in this field. Under these circumstances, lending developments hinge mainly on lenders' capability to sustainably raise the necessary financial resources and simultaneously on their compliance with prudential principles”, reads the press release issued by the central bank.

The decision on January 15 comes to amend Regulation No.11/2008, published in late August in the Official Gazette and enforced by the banks as of October 2008 on limiting credit risk.

Loans granted by BCR, in freefall since Q4

The volume of credits granted by Banca Comerciala Romana in third quarter 2008 underwent a major dive, of nearly 60% after the implementation by BNR of the new regulation, Sorin Mititely added.

He also emphasized the excessive growth of interests for loans in lei and euro, by 2-7 percents in fourth quarter only, while Swiss franc-currency lending products have been eliminated.

BCR board said the bank recorded a monthly threefold higher growth of loans in eurocurrency compared to its competitors.

Several banks active in Romanian lending market stalled the lending activity as of October 2008 in terms with the new regulation, while the representatives of the central bank said the financing resources in fact, acted as a break on this segment.