2017 13 APR
Press release The annual meeting of the European Federation of Building Societies will be held in Bucharest, in November
  • It is our assessment that a significant growth potential is present in Romania in respect of the savings and credit system for the upcoming years, at a penetration rate comparable to the one existing in other European countries’, stated Jan Jeníček, the President of EFBS

Bucharest, 13 April 2017 – The annual meeting of the European Federation of Building Societies will be held in Bucharest, in November this year.

The European Federation of Building Societies is an association of credit institutions supporting and promoting housing finance solutions, while its members hold a considerable market share in the housing finance sector. On the relevant markets, where the system operates successfully for more than half a century, the market share of building societies is around 30% of the total financing for the real estate sector.

‘Over 40 million European use the BAUSAPAR product and reap the advantages deriving therefrom, of which 500,000 are Romanians. The experience acquired by the European countries (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia etc.) evidences that the savings-credit system is a sustainable solution for improving the housing conditions among families earning an average or under average income. The Bauspar system generates important social effects, on grounds that investments targeting the improvement of housing conditions are a driver to economic growth and an important factor for new employment (in the field of constructions and related fields of activity). It is our assessment that a significant growth potential is present in Romania in respect of the savings and credit system for the upcoming years, at a penetration rate comparable to the one existing in other European countries’, stated Jan Jeníček, the President of EFBS

At the end of 2016, the assets held by the banks which are members of the European Federation of Building Societies amounted to more than EUR 265 billion.

The European Federation of Building Societies was established on 29 August 1962 and was one of the first credit federations at European level.

The objectives pursued by the European Federation of Building Societies include:

  • promoting the idea of owned house
  • exchange of experience among its members in the field of housing finance and housing policy
  • responsible savings  
  • representing the interests of its members in their relationship with the European Union institutions

EFBS is the ‘voice’ of European housing finance. The Federation focuses on the financing of housing, based on a stable capital base which has proven to be robust during the crisis period.

It is expected that the congress debates be attended by representatives of: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Luxemburg, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland. Currently, EFBS comprises approximately 50 members throughout Europe.

Brief history of the savings-credit system (BAUSPAR)

The BAUSPAR system has contributed greatly to the reconstruction of Europe in the ‘50s. The savings-credit system provided for the institutional ‘working framework’ required to provide assistance during a time interval when other financial resources were limited or very expensive. The Building Societies provide safe mortgage credits, restrict the interests and share the risks.

The fundamental principles of the savings-credit system are straight forward. First, the BAUSPAR client saves, then the bank grants credits for housing from the savings fund, to those clients who pursue such a credit and are eligible for it. Consequently, it is not surprising that the Austrian and German building societies played a vital role in the reconstruction of the housing sector in that period. 

A well-developed BAUSPAR system contributes to economic stability due to the counter-cyclical business model. The stabilisation function has proven itself again during the worldwide financial crises of 2007 - 2008. While other creditors were worried about the lack of funds or the problematic loans in other currencies, the building societies were able to grant loans to their clients.

The BAUSPAR system is an important component the financial system. It is recommended that the emerging economies support the development and expansion of such a system. Important supporting elements consist in the accessibility of the BAUSPAR system for all segments of the population, including for those with average or below average-income individuals, and also in the fact that the government grants an attractive bonus for deposits, while such bonus is accessible to everyone, irrespective of their age.

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