Future events will be communicated via the RBI website.
27, 2009: Raiffeisen Bank Romania announced it signed the first deposit
certificate-based loan for financing a farmer, for a value of RON 5 million,
after the regulatory framework was completed in August 2009 . This
event marks the success of the 9-year restless efforts supported by various
World Bank’s initiatives, the last and decisive one being the SPI Romania Project on Rural Lending led by
Raiffeisen Bank Romania’s representatives.
- OCTOBER 10, 2008 - FULLY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ELECTRONIC PROCESSING OF DEBIT INSTRUMENTS: THE CENTRAL SYSTEM FOR THE ELECTRONIC PROCESSING OF THE DEBIT INSTRUMENTS (PAID) STARTED TO FUNCTION WITHIN TRANSFOND, THE OPERATOR OF THE ELECTRONIC PAYMENT SYSTEM.
14, 2008 – BY LAWS OF THE DEPOSIT CERTIFICATE GUARANTEE FUND: THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ISSUED A DECISION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A GUARANTEE FUND FOR DEPOSIT CERTIFICATES ON CEREALS. SPI PROJECT WORKING GROUP FOR RURAL LENDING DESERVES PUBLIC RECOGNITION FOR ITS VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING EUR 104 MILLION/YEAR ADDITIONAL LOANS.
- June 30, 2008 - The European Banking Federation sent out endorsment letters to DGMarkt's Director General and to the Vice President of the ECB in support of Convergence Program activities.
- June 10, 2008 - SPI Romania Director for Bank Products and Services attended the first SPI Albania Committee meeting in Tirana. Attached is the Agenda.
- June 5, 2008 -Annual European Banking Federation Meeting:
The Convergence Program has delivered a presentation on SPI Romania and
Albania experience and on the regional plans at the EBF annual meeting held in Tirana.
5, 2008 – NATIONAL BANK OF ROMANIA
ISSUES NEW DEBIT INSTRUMENTS NORMS: FURTHER THE CHANGE IN THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK
AND BASED ON THE SPI PROJECT DEBIT INSTRUMENTS WORKING GROUP PROPOSALS,
NATIONAL BANK OF ROMANIA ISSUED NORMS NO. 6 AND 7 AND TECHNICAL NORMS NO. 4 AND
5. THESE ARE THE SECONDARY REGULATIONS COMPLETING THE FRAMEWORK FOR
IMPLEMENTING THE ELECTRONIC PROCESSING OF DEBIT INSTRUMENTS. THEIR ISSUANCE
SIGNIFIES THE FINALIZING OF THE ELECTRONIC PAYMENT SYSTEM IN ROMANIA.
- May 28, 2008- SPI Romania 2008 Projects Terms of Reference: The full set of project ToRs for SPI Romania 2008 Program was released. ToRs have been prepared in English or in Romanian as the program migrated to the local stakeholders' ownership. SPI Romania 2008 projects refer to: Lending to PPPs; Co-financing with EU Structural Funds; Modernizing Tbills Regulatory Framework; Developing Tbills Secondary Market; Banks' Contributions to RDGF; Reducing Paper Based Documents; Improving Bad Debts Recovery Procedures; Consumers Financial Education and Information on Basic Bank Products; Banks' Ethics Code.
- May 19- 23, 2008 - SPI Albania strarted its operations: Convergence Program and SPI Albania representatives had meetings with Bank of Albania and Albanian Association of Banks in order to prepare the activity program for 2008, with local and international institutions for information, support and positioning on the market. The team started preparing the first SPI Albania Committee meeting.
21, 2008 – THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVED THE ISSUANCE OF EMERGENCY ORDINANCE
NO. 53/2008 FOR AMENDING THE LAW ON ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING: THE LAW AMENDMENTS BRING THE ROMANIAN AML
LEGAL FRAMEWORK IN LINE WITH THIRD DIRECTIVE AND RATIONALIZES THE REPORTING
SYSTEM. THE AML SPI ROMANIA WORKING GROUP DESERVES PUBLIC RECOGNITION FOR ITS
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF AML LEGISLATION AND FOR BRINGING
THUS EUR 11 MILLION/YEAR NET BENEFITS FOR BANKING COMMUNITY, CONSUMERS AND
- April 18, 2008 - SPI Albania Secretariat Training: Convergence
programme launched a training session in Tirana to ensure the
knowledge transfer from SPI Romania to SPI Albania. The aim of the
training was to get SPI Secretariat familiar with SPI framework,
activities and responsibilities and to start the team building process.
- April 16, 2008- Better Regulations Presentation to DiFID: Convergence had the opportunity to meet
DFiD representatives on April 16 and share with them the SPI Romania experience
and its plans for the Adriatic region.
- April 15, 2008 - SPI Romania and SPI Albania to participate on EBF Annual Meeting: EBF decided to include on its Annual General
Meeting in Tirana a
presentation on SPI Romania and SPI Albania. Convergence Head and SPI Romania
Director for Bank Products and Services met EBF representatives on April
15 to discuss on the context and content of the presentation.
- April 15, 2008- SPI Adriatic DG Markt Presentation: SPI Director for Bank
Products and Services attended a brainstorming session with European
Commission DGMarkt based on Convergence presentation on SPI Adriatic, a
regional project that will expand SPI Romania positive experience.
- April 10, 2008- SPI Romania sent to the Ministry of Justice, an opinion on the new draft proposal for
amending the Law on anti money laundering. SPI Secretariat attended the RBA
Technical Commission meeting where banks were asked to renew their endorsement of
the proposals prepared under the SPI project. SPI Director for Bank Products
and Services attended a meeting with the main stakeholders and MoJ on April 11.
The consultations will be continued in the period April 14-18.
- April 08, 2008 - SPI Director for Bank
Products and Services was invited to deliver a presentation on “Revamping rural
lending based on certificates of deposit” in a seminar organized by
Finmedia and named “Rural financing – a chance for Romania’s agriculture?”. Although
the current priorities are the implementation of the National Plan for Rural
Development and the European funds to be used under it, financing the immediate
liquidity needs based on certificates of deposit it is also important and the
solution identified by the SPI project working group allows a rapid
- March 27, 2008 -First SPI Albania Committee Meeting: The SPI Romania Director
for Bank Products and Services contributed to the preparation of the first SPI
Albania Committee meeting being also invited to attend it. SPI
Romania Secretariat’s experience in organizing the project working groups and in
cooperating with the main SPI stakeholders for solution identification and
enactment represents a good example for SPI Albania. Attached is the Agenda.
26, 2008 – AMENDMENT OF THE LAWS ON DEBIT INSTRUMENTS: THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVED THE ISSUANCE OF AN EMERGENCY
ORDINANCE FOR AMENDING THE LAW NO. 58/1934 AND LAW NO. 59/1934 ON DEBIT
INSTRUMENTS. ACCORDING TO SPI ROMANIA PROJECT WORKING GROUP’S PROPOSALS. THIS
ENABLED THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ELECTRONIC PROCESSING OF THE DEBIT
INSTRUMENTS THAT WILL BRING IMPORTANT BENEFITS TO CONSUMERS, BANKS AND
- March 26, 2008-SPI
Albania Secretariat Selections: SPI Director for Bank
Products and Services contributed to the selection process of the SPI
Secretariat by participating in individual interviews and collective
discussions. The identified SPI Albania Secretariat formula
covered the qualifications, experience and activities specific to the
- March 18, 2008- BACEE 18th Conference in Budapest: SPI Director for Bank
Products and Services delivered a presentation on “Better Regulation: Policy Design with Market
Participants’ Input. Romania’s
Special Project Initiative (SPI) Experience”. The presentation enjoyed a very
positive feedback from participants and determined SPI and BACEE
representatives to explore new ways of cooperation. Showing a high interest in
SPI Adriatic Region plans, BACEE representatives offered their support and invited
SPI to have a presentation with the occasion of their Associates Annual Meeting
to be held in Belgrade,
- March 12, 2008 - Seventh SPI
Committee meeting: The SPI Committee has met for the seventh time to discuss the SPI 2008 activity program and budget. Stakeholders’ representatives
decided on the projects to be undertaken in 2008 and on the coverage of SPI
Romania budgetary needs (60% NBR and 40% RBA).Attached is the Agenda.
- March 10, 2008- The World Bank's mission to Bucharest: Further to Ministry of Economy and Finance and National
Authority for Consumer Protection invitation, World Bank had a mission to Bucharest from March 10 to 14, 2008 in order to review
consumer protection and financial literacy in Romania.The mission led by Ms. Susan Rutledge, Senior Private Sector
Development Specialist of the World Bank looked at consumer protection in the
key segments of the financial sector—banking, insurance, securities, private
pension funds, and non-bank credit providers, including consumer finance
companies and microfinance institutions. The mission prepared a diagnostic
review of each segment compared to a set of good consumer protection practices
developed by the World Bank. The mission looked at the current programs of financial
education and identified the ways in which the programs might be further
improved, particularly through the activities of the SPI consumer financial
education working group. Based on its experience in the project on consumer
education, SPI Romania fully supported World Bank’s mission, through opinions,
insights, data and legislation.
- March 03, 2008 - Convergence Program's mission to Bangladesh: At the invitation of
IFC Dhaka Office, Convergence Program went in a mission to Bangladesh and presented the
SPI concept and the SPI successful experience in Romania. Bangladesh
public and private stakeholders were highly interested in SPI platform as
public – private partnership for the financial sector modernization, in its
framework and in its achievements in Romania. They expressed their
willingness to create an SPI vehicle in order to accelerate the modernization
- March 01, 2008 - Maria Sultanoiu
has been appointed by NBR as SPI Romania Director: Ms. Sultanoiu has an impressive CV. She held
various Director positions in the Ministry of Finance, including responsibility
for international financial relations as General Director, she was Romania's
ED on the EBRD Board, and she was BancPost's General Secretary. Ms. Sultanoiu’s
appointment (as RBI staff) witnesses the importance that NBR assigns to the SPI
Romania's smooth transition into local ownership. We wish Maria Sultanoiu
welcome and good luck.
February 26, 2008- Interview on Electronic Processing of Debit Instruments: Ziarul Financiar published an
interview with Mr. Luigi Passamonti, Convergence Head, on the electronic
processing of debit instruments that will be implemented further the enactment
of the law amendment proposals recently endorsed by ECB.
- February 20, 2008- SPI Albania Project Pipeline Building: Romania Director for Banking Products and
Services contributed to building up the SPI Albania project pipeline through
extensive consultations with Albanian banks and with Bank of Albania. The
issues identified in the individual interviews with stakeholders’
representatives were subject to a roundtable on the priorities of the Albanian
11, 2008 – ENDORSEMENT OF DRAFT PROPOSALS TO AMEND LAW ON DEBIT INSTRUMENTS:
ECB ENDORSED THE DRAFT PROPOSALS TO AMEND LAW NO. 58/1934 AND LAW NO.
59/1934 THE DEBIT INSTRUMENT WORKING
GROUP DESERVES PUBLIC RECOGNITION FOR HAVING COMPLETED A COMPLEX PROJECT AND
PREPARED A DRAFT LAW TO MEET ECB’S UNCONDITIONAL APPROVAL. THE ROMANIAN BANKING
SYSTEM WILL HAVE AN ANNUAL EUR 27 MILLION COSTS SAVING AS A RESULT OF THIS
REFORM, DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO SPI ROMANIA WORK METHODS.
February 05, 2008- SPI Romania 2007 Activity Report: SPI Secretariat mailed to all RBA members the SPI Romania 2007 Activity Report and the broad plans for 2008.
February 04, 2008 -Oana
Nedelescu’s appointed as First Deputy Governor’s Advisor:Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director for Analytics and
Policy, has been invited to become Advisor to the First deputy Governor of the
National Bank of Romania. It is a very important
position of participation in policy design activities, particularly in the
European Central Bank, which National Bank of Romania is now member of. Oana will coordinate several initiatives
pertaining to international regulatory and supervision issues and will act as
NBR key contact for SPI Romania, being the best possible Convergence Program
ambassador at the heart of the National Bank of Romania. Oana’s analytical rigor,
multi-faceted knowledge, consensus-building skills and organizational
capabilities contributed to the building up of SPI Romania. We thank Oana for
her important contribution and we wish her all the best in her new important
January 19, 2008- Launch of SPI Albania: SPI Albania was launched in a press conference organized by Puglia Region- Mediterranean Sector, Bank of Albania and Bank of Montenegro.
December 20, 2007- The European Banking Federation highlighted SPI Romania activities in its review of Better Regulation practices in EU Member Countries.
- December 20, 2007 - Sixth SPI Committee Meeting: SPI Committee has met for the sixth time to discuss the 2008 SPI Projects and administrative arrangements. Attached is the Agenda.
- December 6-7, 2007 - Financial Education International Summit, New Delhi: SPI
Secretariat participated in the year's largest event on financial
education. The SPI Secretariat shared the Romanian experience in
designing a national strategic plan for promoting consumer financial
education and has been updated with the international best practices. Attached is the visit report.
- December 5, 2007 - Committee of European Securities Regulators, Paris: Convergence/SPI Romania has illustrated
Romania's pioneering RIA experience at an impact assessment
workshop with the participation of regulators from 12 EU countries.
- November 29, 2007 - SPI Secretariat made a presentation
on the possibilities of revamping rural lending based on deposit
certificates on the occasion of the second edition of the conference
Raiffeisen - Cerealexpert.
- November 21, 2007 - SPI Secretariat and the Project Manager participated at the discussions organized by the Ministry of Justice on the AML law amendment proposals. SPI Secretariat supported PM in promoting the proposals of the SPI Project Working Group.
- November 15, 2007 - SPI Secretariat gave a presentation to the Association of Bulgarian Banks: Ramona Bratu, SPI Director for Bank Products and Services gave a presentation to the Association of Bulgarian Banks on the SPI Romanian Experience of public-private sector financial modernization.
- November 13, 2007- Fifth SPI Committee Meeting- Attached is the Agenda.
- November 2, 2007 - SPI Secretariat visit to Sofia: Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director for Policy and Analytics, illustrated the SPI Romania activities to the Bulgarian Financial Services Commission and to the Bulgarian Association of Banks, which are considering launching the SPI Bulgaria.
- November 1, 2007- Final RIA Presentations- Before the SPI Committee members, the Secretary of State of the General Secretariat of Government, Mr. Victor Giosan, the Chairperson of the National Securities Commission (CNVM), Ms. Gabriela-Victoria Anghelache, as well as senior management of other financial regulatory authorities, about 20 participants, delivered their final RIA presentations on regulations issued by the National Bank of Romania and CNVM , as well as one regarding the IFRS SPI Project. Attached is the Agenda.
- October 24 , 2007- SPI Secretariat released paper on Lending Databases for PWG discussion.
- October 19, 2007 - SPI Secretariat convened a round table with bank representatives to discuss position paper on Stress Testing Practices in Banks. Attached is the meeting presentation.
- October 18, 2007 - SPI Secretariat convened project working group to discuss position paper on Financial Consumer Education. Attached are the meeting presentation (Romanian) and minutes.
- October 17, 2007- SPI Secretariat started a consultation tour with banks to collect additional proposals for the 2008 Program.
- October 8, 2007 - SPI Secretariat issued a position paper on Stress Testing Practices in Banks for discussion in the project working group.
- October 8, 2007 - SPI Secretariat issued a position paper on Proposed National Strategy for Promoting Consumer Financial Education for discussion in the project working group.
- October 4, 2007 - SPI Secretariat sent its comments to the Ministry of Justice: Under the public consultation process initiated by the Ministry of Justice, SPI Secretariat sent its comments (Romanian) to the law amendment proposals on Law no. 656/2002.
- September 28, 2007 - SPI Secretariat sent its comments to the Ministry of Economy and Finance: Under the public consultation process initiated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, SPI Secretariat sent its comments (Romanian) to the law amendment proposals on Law no. 58/1934 and Law no. 59/1934.
- September 26, 2007 - EU Green Paper Public Hearing Debriefing: SPI Secretariat has debriefed Romanian financial sector stakeholders on main messages from the Brussels Public Hearing. The event took place at Info Europa Center, 88 Calea Victoriei, Bucharest at 09.00am. Attached are the meeting minutes.
- September 19, 2007 - SPI Secretariat Participated in EU Public Hearing on Green Paper on Retail Financial Services: Ramona Bratu, SPI Director for Bank Products and Services, has delivered this statement, summarizing the Romanian financial stakeholder's opinions, at the Public Hearing held by the European Commission on future policy directions for retail financial services. Attached is the visit report.
September 14, 2007- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: National Bank of Romania First Deputy Governor Florin Georgescu, Hosting Chair of the SPI Committee, has made reference to SPI Romania as a program that could be replicated throughout the SEE region at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please visit the National Bank of Romania website under Presentations, Speeches and Interviews section(22 September,2007).
September 13, 2007: The World Bank's internal news magazine TODAY published an article ("Unleashing Romania's Financial Revolution") on SPI Romania's activities, noting its strong focus on meeting client needs "Consumers are at the center of Romania's fast growing financial industry, and for the first time, banks are faced with a hitherto unknown phenomenon: Customer service".
September 12-14, 2007
- How to Design Better Financial Regulation Seminar: Mr. Stefan Nanu, Director-General of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and SPI Committee Alternate Member, and Ms. Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director of Analytics and Policy, have discussed how Regulatory Impact Assessment techniques benefit the Romania Financial Sector Modernization Program at a regional workshop held at the Ljubljana's Center of Excellency in Finance. The three-day
seminar was designed to help ten South-East European authorities and institutions dealing with financial regulation improve the regulatory process by undertaking financial sector RIA, based on the experience of several EU countries.
September 10, 2007 - SPI Secretariat Follow-Up Visit to Serbia: Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director for Policy and Analytics, has illustrated the SPI Romania activities to the Serbian Ministry of Trade and Services, at the invitation of the Serbian Ministry of Finance. Also, Mrs. Nedelescu has met with the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and with representatives of the banking community to help them consider launching SPI Serbia based on the SPI Romania success story. Attached is the visit report.
July 27, 2007- SPI Secretariat Visit to Serbia: Ramona Bratu, SPI Director of Bank Products and Services, and Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director for Policy and Analytics, joined the Head of the Convergence Program in a visit to illustrate the SPI Romania activities to the Serbian Ministry of Finance and the Association of Serbian Banks. The SPI Committee pledged assistance to Serbian stakeholders, should they wish to launch an equivalent SPI Serbia program. Attached is the visit report.
- July 17, 2007- International Finance Corporation posts on its website a SmartLessons note on the SPI Romania experience. Visit the IFC SmartLessons website.
- July 6, 2007 - MiFID Transposition and Implementation in Romania: The objective of the seminar was to raise awareness on the MiFID implications and to foster dialogue between authorities and market players in order to create the synergies for a rapid and a proper implementation. The competent authorities (NSC and NBR) and market players have to join forces in a sustained and structured effort to implement MIFID in Romania. Italian and UK experiences represent valuable examples in this respect.
June 19, 2007 - EU Green Paper Consultations: To prepare Romania's submission to a questionnaire prepared by the European Commission in connection with a Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market, a Round Table was held at the Info Europa Center of the European Commission Bucharest Office to seek the views by authorities, banking industry and consumers in the field of retail financial services.
- June 15, 2007 - SPI Secretariat Attends Convergence Program Review Meeting with Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance: Oana Nedelescu, SPI Director for Policy and Analytics, has illustrated the SPI Romania activities at a Convergence Program review meeting, hosted by a senior official of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the participation of Bank of Italy and Italian Banking Association. The SPI Director was member of the World Bank delegation, headed by the Vice President, Financial and Private Sector Development and IFC Chief Economist and the Head of the Convergence Program.
- June 4, 2007 - Romania RIA Capacity Building: The workshop consolidated RIA knowledge discussing two international cases and launched a RIA exercise on two domestic regulations, proposed by the National Bank of Romania and National Securities Commission.
- May 24, 2007 - Data Privacy Conference: The objective of the conference was to initiate a dialogue among stakeholders in order to achieve a balance between preventing misuse of personal data and protecting the individuals' right to privacy, on one hand, and ensuring the individuals' rights to access financial products, addressing the credit institutions' objective for a good risk management and the central bank's concerns regarding financial stability, on the other hand.
- May 16-17, 2007 - Romania RIA Capacity Building: The workshop provided basic information of how RIA process is structured and which methodology could be applied. A range of concrete experience and case studies of Impact Assessment was also illustrated.
- April 12, 2007 - IFRS International Workshop: The workshop aimed at helping the local stakeholders (banks, NBR, MEF) deepen their understanding of both international supervisory practices and market solutions (methodologies and practical tools, including IT) for provisioning in view of IFRS and Basel II implementation.
16, 2007 – SPI COMMITTEE LETTER TO BCR AND BRD ON POSITIVE CREDIT INFORMATION
SHARING: BASED ON THE DOCUMENT PREPARED
BY SPI PROJECT WORKING GROUP, SPI COMMITTEE DECIDED TO USE MORAL SUATION IN
ORDER TO INCREASE THE MARKET SHARE OF POSITIVE CREDIT INFORMATION REPORTED TO
THE CREDIT BUREAU. SPI COMMITTEE SENT TWO LETTERS TO BCR AND BRD TOP MANAGEMENT
ASKING FOR CONFIRMATION OF POSITIVE CREDIT INFORMATION REPORTING TO CREDIT
BUREAU IN THE COURSE OF 2007. WITH THE 2
BANKS JOINING THE COMMUNITY OF POSITIVE REPORTING BANKS, THE REACHED MARKET
SHARE WILL BE ABOUT 85%. THE PROJECT WORKING GROUP DESERVES PUBLIC RECOGNITION
FOR ITS IMPROTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE FINANCIAL STABILITY AND TO EUR 130 MILLION/YEAR POTENTIAL INCREASE IN LENDING VOLUME.
- January 15-16, 2007 - RIA Seminar: The workshop aimed at sharing with and develop awareness among the "SPI Projects Community" about the economic relevance resulting from Preliminary RIA carried on all projects that were approved by the Romania SPI Committee in September 2006.
January 9, 2007: SPI Committee Letter to the International Institute of Finance: In response to the IIF's Proposal for Strategic Dialogue on Effective Regulation, SPI Committee illustrates the Romania public-private institutional arrangements in a letter to IIF.
- December 19, 2006 - Loan loss data bases: The Technical Workshop on the "International Experience with Lending Databases" was attended by representatives of the banking industry,the National Bank of Romania and the Ministry of Finance. The aim of the Technical Workshop was to help the local stakeholders build a common understanding on the two lending databases starting from existing international hands on experience on the matter presented by experts from the Italian Banking Association (ABI).
- September 14, 2006 -RIA and Consumer Protection: The Seminar provided authorities, bank CEOs and staff with a presentation of the potential benefits for the banking industry through appropriate attention to consumer protection issues and use of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) methodology for a closer dialogue with authorities.
- March 3, 2006 - Press Release on the Convergence Program findings of the Romanian Deposit Guarantee Fund study presented at the RDGF 10th Anniversary Symposium.
- February 21, 2006 - Press Release on Seminar with the Board of the Association of Romanian Banks and the National Bank of Romania on the Cesarini Report on the organization and activities of the Italian Banking Association.