Lenders in Romania borrowed 16 billion lei in March through the central bank's (BNR) lombard credit facility, 2.5 times less than in the previous month, but banks hiked the level of deposits at BNR to close to 10 billion lei, NewsIn informes.
BNR lent a total 38.63 billion lei to banks in February.

However, lenders preferred to turn towards BNR's deposit facility and placed 9.92 billion lei in deposits at the central bank for an interest rate of 6 percent, almost five times higher than in February, when the sum amounted to 2 billion lei.

The permanent credit facility made available by BNR can be accessed at present at an annual interest rate of 14 percent per year, 4 percentage points above the monetary policy rate, as banks offer state securities as guarantees for the loans.

The total value of the lombard credit granted by BNR summed up to 86.14 billion lei in the first three months of the year, close to the value in the last quarter of 2008, while deposits set up by lenders at BNR amounted to 18.6 billion lei.

BNR's credit facility began to be more frequently used by banks starting with the last three months of 2008, when lenders borrowed a total 87.24 billion lei, almost 50 times the amount in the first nine months of last year.

Credit institutions in Romania have turned to this sort of loan as a last resort, after the lack of trust in the market triggered an unequal spread of liquidities and higher costs.

Interbank interests for overnight deposits accelerated in October and even exceeded 100 percent. The BNR governor talked about “an attack on the leu”. Later on, although overnight interests went back close to the monetary policy rate, the interbank market did not return to normal parameters for larger maturities, where transactions are scarce, dealers say.

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