The two Austrian banks present in Romania, Erste Group, which also includes BCR, and Raiffeisen Bank reacted to Austria’s negative vote regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area.

The reaction also comes in the context in which PNL MEP Rareș Bogdan asked Romanian state companies to close their accounts at Raiffeisen Bank and Erste, as a result of the vote in Brussels.

“Today Austria was against the interests of Romania and the Romanians. The state companies in Romania, which currently have bank cards through which tens, hundreds of millions of euros run monthly through Raiffeisen and Erste, are obliged by each individual Romanian to- and close from Raiffeisen and Erste”, he said to Antena3.

The management of Erste Group states that it regrets the result of Thursday’s vote in the JAI Council regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area.

“We assume that the Austrian government has weighed this step very carefully and we respect the fact that it must also take security concerns into account. However, it is clear that this step will have very tangible consequences for millions of EU citizens. Therefore, our common goal must be to quickly find a viable solution”, emphasizes Willi Cernko, CEO of Erste Group.

“Erste Group is a European company – and, in particular, a Central European company. For us, #believeineurope is not just a wording, it is the expression of our deep convictions. It is not only about the fact that we believe in Europe, it is about the fact that we support Europe and defend the European idea. This is especially true today, when a decision of the JAI Council has a direct impact on over 5,000 of my colleagues and over 2.8 million of our clients in Romania. We support a Europe strong and we support a strong European Union. And we are convinced that only a united European Union can be a strong European Union. But a united European Union is one in which all EU citizens have the same rights and obligations. There are no member states of the kind two. Therefore, our goal must be for all citizens to benefit equally from the freedoms of the Union. This also includes participation in the Schengen area. We regret the result of today’s vote in the Council”, says Willi Cernko, CEO of Erste Group, according to a post published on Thursday on BCR’s Facebook page.

According to him, Romania and Austria “have many things that are closely linked together. Social, cultural and, of course, economic. Austria is one of the most important investors in Romania, and Romania is, in turn, a very important export market for Austrian companies”.

“A right of veto is the strongest position that an EU member state can adopt in a vote. We assume that the Austrian government has weighed this step very carefully, and we respect that it must also consider security concerns. Unity does not mean that all partners must always be of the same opinion, without any discussion. However, it is clear that this step will have very tangible consequences for millions of EU citizens. Therefore, our common goal must be to quickly find a viable solution. At the level of Erste Group, we want and will make our contribution to this goal, therefore we call on political leaders at all levels to take responsibility for finding a solution”, adds Willi Cernko, CEO of Erste Group.

Banca Comercială Română (BCR), a member of Erste Group, is the largest financial group in Romania, including universal banking operations (retail, corporate & investment banking, treasury and capital markets), as well as leading companies on the leasing market , private pensions, housing banks and banking services.

Raiffeisen Bank: “We are surprised by this decision”

And Raiffeisen Bank representatives declared themselves “surprised” by the negative vote for Romania’s accession to Schengen, but that “we are not in a position to comment on decisions of a political nature”.

“The Raiffeisen Bank International group, together with Raiffeisen Bank Romania, as one of the most important markets in Central and Eastern Europe, is a promoter of the democratic values ​​that unite the European community and supports sustainable economic growth through a common market based on free movement of goods, people, services and capital. Raiffeisen Bank is a local bank, which has been financing and supporting the Romanian economy for 25 years, being the third bank in terms of lending in the market.

From the privatization of the Agricultural Bank (2001) until today, Raiffeisen Bank has been a strong partner for more than 2 million individual customers, more than 110,000 SMEs and 5600 large and medium-sized corporations. In the first nine months of 2022, lending at Raiffeisen Bank increased by 27% and recorded the highest growth in the corporate segment, respectively 55%. In addition, 4,900 employees work in Raiffeisen Bank Romania, in approximately 300 offices.
In the last 30 years, foreign investments in Romania have played a crucial role for economic modernization and the integration of Romania’s market economy into international production chains. Beyond the capital and investments that the RBI group has made in the local market, Raiffeisen Bank is an engine that supports the development of the local economy, through long-term financing, through job creation, both directly and indirectly, as a result of financing local businesses and its supply chain, through technology transfer and know-how that contribute to increased productivity, and, last but not least, through fees and taxes that support the state budget.

Last but not least, Raiffeisen Bank International remains deeply committed to the principles underlying the Vienna Initiative and, as a co-founder of this initiative, the Group reaffirms, even in very difficult times, its commitment to Romania and towards the CEE region, ensuring that the necessary conditions are in place so that capital continues to flow to real economies,” Raiffaisen Bank said in a Facebook post.

Source: PROTV news

Tags: banks, Austria, Schengen,

Publication date: 08-12-2022 19:06

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