Romania's Central Bank most important legal provision was to cut down to 25% of the mandatory guarantee the exposure the commercial banks are allowed to operate by, said the Central Bank director for banking supervision Nicolae Cinteza.
The move helped banks report a three-quarter profit of about 162 million Euro, which otherwise would not have been there at all, Cinteza added. However, he also said the banks operating in Romania are not yet out of the woods.
"My personal expectation is for 2010 to be tougher on the banking system than 2009. Particularly the fist six months will be very testing for our banking system. Our luck is that we are highly solvable, with a 13.7% rate, but that also shows our limited ability to make profit," Cinteza said.
He also commented on the fact that Austria's Erste Bank placed the BCR shares it held on the portfolio of a different company it owns, to get a tax reduction.
"We authorized the change of property after we had the Erste written agreement that they will abide by the previous commitments they made with BCR," said Cinteza.
• Translated by AAP