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Romania

Institutions providing microfinance services in Romania include cooperatives, credit unions, non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and commercial banks. All microfinance providers are regulated, to varying degrees, by the National Bank of Romania (NBR). In April of 2009, a new law on NBFIs and microfinance activity (Law No. 93/2009) was enacted repealing, among other regulations, Law No. 240/2005 on micro financing companies and Part I, Title I of Ordinance No. 28/2006 on NBFIs.

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Regulators

Microfinance & Banking

Consumer Protection

The consumer protection regime in Romania with regard to financial transactions has been strengthened in recent years. Laws have been passed to make consumer credit transactions more transparent, and to specifically define creditors’ obligations and impose sanctions for noncompliance. The primary agency responsible for consumer awareness and compliance with consumer protection laws is the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC), established in 1992.

The ANPC has helped to establish offices of the European Consumer Center throughout Romania, as well as the Consulting Center, to provide advice to consumers. Two non-governmental organizations, the Romanian Association for Consumers’ Protection (APC-Romania) and the National Association for Consumers’ Protection in Romania (ANPCPPS), represent consumers on consultative bodies, instigate court proceedings on behalf of groups of consumers, and provide general consumer information.

Consumers can seek recourse in the courts under the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure, but there is no system of “small courts” for disputes over small amounts of money, and the cost of a court procedure is about 20% of the amount claimed.

The National Audiovisual Council reviews all radio and TV advertising of financial services. The Data Protection Authority ensures maintenance of the privacy of personal information. The Competition Council reviews and intervenes in anti-competitive practices, including those in the financial sector.