The banking system reacted following statements by government officials in Romania regarding the losses incurred by dozens of lenders in the past five years.

PM Mihai Tudose said that nobody can understand how a banking institution can stay for years in the red.

“Their buildings look nice. Their wages are very good. They have proven to be very creative in externalizing their profit,” said Tudose. He added that lenders need to know that the Romanian state is not a “naïve” partner. The PM explained that one bank thinks that it is “smarter” than the rest of Romanians.

Meanwhile, the Association of Romanian Banks (ARB) and the Council of Banking Employers in Romania (CPBR) said in a joint statement that such allegations can hit the trust in the banking system on one hand, while the lenders could in turn fear the lack of predictability of the business environment.

The associations said that the banks recorded losses due to the financial crisis and the price was fully paid by shareholders.

“We reiterate the fact that banking sector in Romania got over the global financial sector without a single leu spent by the Romanian state, in contrast to the situation of 23 other EU member states,” said the banks.

“Aside from the effects of the crisis, the reduced profits in the banking system were caused by efforts to reduce the credit risk by covering the non-performing loans with provisions, of reducing the interests and of changing of the computation mechanism through the conversion to international financial reporting standards (IFRS) starting 2012,” said the associations.

The two organizations went on to say that they will continue to have a dialogue with the state institutions about their operations.