Bucharest, 09 November 2015 – “An investment into a new house is considered a major investment by many families, and Romanian families use the legal framework applicable to the BAUSPAR system (saving-lending for housing) to maximize savings results by concluding saving-lending contracts for all the members of a family, children and senior citizens included, as revealed by the market survey performed by BCR Banca pentru Locuințe (BCR BpL), assisted by IRSOP. The portfolio of BCR Banca pentru Locuințe contains almost 41,000 contracts (approximately 10% of total contracts) concluded with minor holders (under the age of 18).
Within this context, as one of 10 contracts is signed on behalf of minor holders, Romania follows the trends of EU markets, where the saving-lending system has operated for decades, and the share of contracts concluded on behalf of children is even double. Therefore, in Austria every fifth saving and lending contracts is signed in favour of a child, whereas in the Czech Republic this applies to one in six contracts.
According to market surveys, out of 1.8 million urban households with children younger than 18, 1.19 million are households with 1 child aged under 18, 550,000 are households having 2 children under 18, and 60,000 households have more than 3 children aged under 18. From the total of families with children,more than 800,000 households are interested in the conclusion of a saving-lending contract for children, indicating as arguments ”the purchase of housing”, “the possibility to get a mortgage loan”, “saving fund to the purpose of obtaining a loan”.
Consequently, the investment of savings and the taking of loans for the purpose of investing them in the common house becomes an act of solidarity among generations”, as revealed by the market surveys performed by IRSOP for BCR BpL. Romanians want to save for their children, however, the reason for saving is different from EU’s more developed markets: 60% of those who save, do so for unforeseen circumstances, 34% for the future of their children, and 26% for the renovation/refurbishment of their dwelling.
By concluding a saving-lending contract, upon turning 18, a young person can invest the money into housing, by using the accumulated amounts, as well as the loan having a fixed interest over the entire lending period. The money can be used for any investment in the housing sector: expansion or advance payment for housing. The saving-lending system for housing educates families - both parents and children - to plan their investments so as to increase their housing comfort, as the IRSOP survey reveals.
Saving-lending products are products having a long life-cycle. The customers conclude saving-lending contracts for the amount reflecting their intentions in the housing sector. They deposit an amount of money into the saving-lending contract account on a monthly (or annual) basis, until they reach the saved value amounting to 40%-50%, according to the saving-lending contract type. This type of approach in providing housing comfort for the future requires planning of own financial resources and long-term individual financial discipline; also, it encourages the citizen’s own initiative to become involved in the improvement of their own housing conditions.
The state encourages the citizen’s effort to be preoccupied with the improvement of their own housing condition by means of regular deposits, to give up on immediate consumption to the benefit of long-term investments in the housing sector. The state encourages the citizen’s effort by means of the government-granted premium (25%, no more than the RON equivalent of EUR 250/year for the amounts deposited on an annual basis). Upon completing the saving process, and according to the fulfilment of allotment requirements, the customers acquire the right to be granted a loan amounting to 50% - 60% of the contracted value by the saving-lending bank. For the saved amounts, as well as for the loan amounts, the bank grants fixed interests.
Banca Comercială Română (BCR), member of Erste Group, is the most important financial group in Romania, including universal bank operations (retail, corporate & investment banking, treasury and capital markets), as well as specialized companies in industries such as leasing, private pension and banks for housing. BCR is the no. 1 bank in Romania according to the value of the assets (EUR 14.4 billion), the no. 1 bank according to the number of customers and the no. 1 bank for the saving and lending segments. BCR is the most valuable financial brand in Romania taking into account customer trust and the number of people for whom BCR is the main institution for banking services.
BCR offers its entire range of financial products and services by means of 22 business centres, 23 mobile offices dedicated to companies and 509 retail units situated in the entire country, in most cities having more than 10,000 inhabitants. BCR is the no. 1 bank in Romania on the commercial banking market, BCR customers benefiting from the largest national ATM and POS network - almost 2,000 automatic teller machines and 13,500 point of sale terminals, as well as from comprehensive Internet banking, mobile banking and e-commerce services.
Erste Group is one of the main financial service providers from the Eastern part of the European Union. 46,500 employees serve 16.2 million customers within 2,800 branches in 7 countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia). At the end of the first quarter of 2015 Erste Group held total assets to the value of EUR 202.6 billion and registered a cost/income ratio of 56.1%. The Tier 1 common equity (fully implemented Basel 3) was situated at 10.2%.
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