FinTechs belonging to this category act as a loan creditor (even short and very short-term loans), are broking loans or receivables or conduct factoring of loans, which were given to private or business customers. In this business area you also find “peer-to-peer” (P2P) services, in which FinTechs enable a multitude of users to give loans (and brokered by the FinTech-platform) to other users or companies.
Finetrading is hereby a financial service of FinTechs, where they buy due receivables and grant the debtor an extension of payment time.
As an ancillary service some FinTechs offer alternative credit assessment services to check the solvency of a borrower.
Attitude of the country towards loan-giving-, factoring-, brokerage-, finetrading- and ancillary services
There are no reservations with respect to loan-giving, factoring, brokerage, finetrading and ancillary services in Romania. In the last years, there has been an increased emphasis on consumer protection in the financial field, with the consumers and the National Authority for Consumer Protection submitting various claims in front of the courts in relation to abusive clauses.
Obligations and requirements to provide loan-giving-, factoring-, brokerage-, finetrading, and ancillary services described above
Loan-giving, factoring and finetrading: Any type of crediting activities performed in Romania are supervised by the National Bank of Romania and entities performing such activities must obtain a license either as a credit institution or as a non-banking financial institution. Factoring and fine-trading services are also classified as crediting activities, thus requiring a prior authorisation of the entity providing the services. Such services may also be performed by entities authorised as credit institutions in other Member States of the European Union based on the passporting provisions. The minimum share capital requirement of a credit institution may vary and is calculated in accordance with the law on credit institutions and the regulations of the National Bank of Romania. The licensing requirements are generally in line with the European Union banking legal framework. The minimum share capital of a non-banking financial institution is of EUR 200,000 or EUR 3,000,000, depending on the types of activities performed and the size of the balance sheets of the relevant entities. Moreover, pursuant to Law no. 209/2019 on payment services (which implemented the EU Directive no. 2366/2015 on payment services in the internal market), under specific conditions, factoring operations could also be performed based on a payment institution license insofar these operations may be qualified as “credits which are linked to payment services”.
Loan-brokerage: The loan-brokerage activity is regulated under Romanian law in relation to loans granted to consumers. An entity providing mortgage loans brokerage services must register itself with the National Authority for Consumer Protection as a mortgage credit intermediary. In order to obtain a license as a mortgage credit intermediary, the relevant entity must: (i) obtain a professional insurance in the amount of EUR 460,000 for each individual claim and, in aggregate, EUR 750,000 per calendar year for all claims; (ii) register itself as a personal data operator with the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing and; (iii) prove that: 1. it has a good reputation; 2. it has an appropriate level of knowledge; and 3. no insolvency proceedings are opened against it. Mortgage loans brokerage services may also be performed by entities authorised in other Member States of the European Union as credit intermediaries based on the passporting provisions. With respect to credit intermediaries for loans other than mortgage loans, although there are certain requirements such entities must comply with in relation to the information provided to consumers, no license is required.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for loan-giving-, factoring-, brokerage, finetrading-, and ancillary services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for loan-giving-, factoring-, brokerage-, finetrading- and ancillary services and biggest companies in this business area
According to the Romanian Association of Banks, as of December 2020, the data on lending showed an increase in non-government credit by 5.5% to EUR 58 billion. Thus, financial intermediation returned to growth, having advanced to 26,8%, after having dropped from 40% in 2011. Moreover, according to a press release dated March 2019, the Romanian Association of Credit Brokers reported that the volume of loans intermediated in 2018 by its members exceeded RON 1.2 billion, the majority of which were mortgage loans (71%). As of 2022, there were over 600 credit intermediaries registered with the National Authority for Consumer Protection acting across Romania.
The factoring services market (including entities providing factoring services online) was valued at over EUR 5 billion in 2020, according to data provided by Romanian Factoring Association.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for loan-giving-, factoring-, brokerage-, finetrading- and ancillary services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area