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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Romanians have faced financial blockages. Although the government has created the framework for postponing their rates to banks, for example, there are discussions between banks and customers that end without a concrete result.

Banks no longer seem willing to negotiate with their customers, and even if they do, there is little compromise. There are companies that mediate this relationship, play the role of mediator between the client and the bank – such as the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Banking – CSALB.

During the year, there were hundreds of open negotiations between consumers and banks or NFIs, but few were resolved. This year’s difficult economic context and unpredictability may also be to blame.

Why banks no longer get along with their customers

Throughout 2020, 433 negotiations were opened between consumers and banks / NFIs, within the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Banking (CSALB), writes profit.ro. Of these, in relation to the banks, 223 negotiations with the reconciliation of the parties have been completed so far, and in 51 cases no result has been reached agreed by both parties.

In relation to the IFNs, only 13 negotiation files were opened, and in 8 of them the parties did not reconcile. What are the reasons? Well, they vary.

The main cause (65%) for which the negotiations failed is the refusals from consumers. In 25% of cases the banks rejected the conciliators ‘proposal, and in 10% both parties declined the conciliators’ settlement proposal. Thus, if last year in 85% of the negotiations the parties accepted the solution given by the conciliators, the percentage decreased to 80% this year, the trend being observed in recent months.

And there would be something else. Each case is different, CSALB reports. Even if, at first sight, a consumer thinks that he wins because another case similar to his own has been solved favorably, it is not so.

“I appeal to consumers not to report to other cases solved within CSALB because each case is particular, just as banks relate to each consumer differently. We remind you that the value records registered after the conciliations represent amounts erased from the balance of some consumers in extremely difficult social and financial situations. I recommend realism and balance with the expectations of consumers from banks and a careful analysis before rejecting the proposal from the conciliators. To think first of the fact that not all consumers who send requests to CSALB end up negotiating with banks, but also that, by refusing an offer that they consider insufficiently favorable to them, they remain only with the court alternative, where the costs of time and money are incomparably bigger “, says Alexandru Păunescu, President of the Coordination Board of CSALB.

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