Bucharest, March 2, 2017 – BCR Banca pentru Locuinţe (BCR BpL) has obtained, from the Court of Appeal, a ruling that cancels the decision of the Court of Auditors, on granting the Government subsidy, which proves that the bank has complied with the Romanian law on housing banks (the saving-lending system for housing purposes), and with the European practice.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of BCR Banca pentru Locuinţe, through the judgment delivered on March 1 this year, regarding the fact that current legislation does not oblige customers who have saved for at least 5 years to justify the use for housing, and lending in the collective saving-lending system is only an option of the customer, not an obligation, and regarding the fact that minor individuals or those over the age of 65 are eligible to receive the Government subsidy.
BCR BpL has argued in good faith before the court compliance with customers' rights according to the law. BCR BpL hopes that this ruling of the court is the basis for clarifying the situation and for a sustainable future of the saving-lending system in Romania, so that this system can contribute in an effective manner to solving Romania's housing problems.
The Bank is open to cooperation with all relevant authorities (Court of Auditors, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Finance, the Romanian Parliament) for a constructive and sustainable progress, to the benefit of over 700,000 customers, and for the efficient use of saving-lending schemes in order to improve the housing situation of Romanians.
During the development of legal procedures, BCR BPL has been the guardian of the interests of customers and decided to cover from own funds the equivalent subsidies that had been paid by the state to respect the rights of customers and keep confidence in the saving-lending system.
"We assure you that we will continue to do everything possible for the relation of good cooperation in the spirit of good faith, shown so far by both our customers and by BCR Banca pentru Locuinţe SA, not be adversely influenced by the decision of the Court of Auditors. At the same time, we assure our customers that BCR BpL has made and will make its best endeavors for the observance of the contractual obligations, under the existing legislation. In this entire time, we have taken concrete measures, so that customers are not financially affected, the bank paying from its financial resources the equivalent of the Government subsidy paid by the state. It proves our good faith", BCR BpL President Lucian Anghel has stated.
Housing Banks (the Bauspar System) represent an European institution with a tradition of over 100 years. The Bauspar System in Romania, introduced in 2002, follows closely the philosophy and practice of the European Bauspar System to boost both saving and lending of individuals for better, safer, healthier homes for those living in them. The national legislation regulating this system is in line with the European legislation and practice.
"The Bauspar System solves a problem of millions of Romanians who want to renovate their homes. It's a European system that has been working for a hundred years in Germany and Austria. The intention to invest in a home, in 2015, has increased among Romanians. There are 580 thousand families of Romanians, according to an IRSOP survey, whose priority is to renovate their homes", Lucian Anghel mentioned.
Although the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruling is not final, it is an important step forward towards normalization and consolidation of the Bauspar System in Romania. BCR BpL will make their best endeavors to defend the rights of its customers and reiterates its desire to find together with all the entities involved the best solutions for the Romanian citizens to benefit in the future from Bauspar System's advantages.
BCR provides a full range of financial products and services, through a network of 512 retail units located in most cities all over the country with over 10,000 inhabitants, as well as through the 21 business centers and 23 mobile offices dedicated to companies. BCR has the largest network of self-serving banking equipment in the country - approximately 2,600 equipment (ATMs, Multipurpose Machines, Automatic Payment Terminals, Currency Exchange Machines) and 12,000 POS terminals for card payments at merchants. The BCR Group had in December 2016 a number of 7,078 own employees.
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