Business Review spoke with Tolga Banyocu, Managing Director of Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance, about the company’s initiative to launch green and sustainable loan products, market trends and consumer behavior of Romanians in 2021, and the medium-term plans of Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance.
- What market trends and consumer behavior of Romanians have you noticed in 2021?
The secret to Romania’s recovery from the financial crisis of the late 2000s was private consumption, which got the economy back on track. Consumer spending hit a record high in the first quarter of 2020, at RON 44 billion. This is also reflected in consumer loans, which have grown by 57% over the past five years, up to the first quarter of 2020. The main drivers in this regard have been home loans, which posted an increase of 112% between 2015 and the first quarter of 2020. 2020.
After the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic hit the country and naturally restrictions followed, impacting consumer demand. However, it didn’t last long. Some sectors have been more affected, such as HoReCa, but consumer demand has rebounded thanks to digitalization and e-commerce. We have started to see consumption reach 42 billion RON in the second quarter of 2021.
In 2020, e-commerce grew by 30% compared to 2019, with a similar trend expected in 2021 as well.
If we look at the evolution of personal loans, new personal loans, without mortgages, registered an increase of 54% year-on-year, while mortgages – 31%. The figures for this year are higher than in 2019. In addition, the number of real estate transactions in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 is around 90,000, which is 50% more than a year ago. just before the pandemic.
Therefore, what we are seeing is a very high appetite for household consumption in the Romanian market, with the help of economic development, increasing wages, and also improving integration with the EU, which increases the confidence of individuals, which is very important in this context.
- Why has your business launched green loan products?
Quite simply because we aim to encourage sustainable lifestyles in our customers. We can help change consumer trends towards a greener and more sustainable future, and tackle climate change. As a financial company, which is part of the engine that drives the economy forward, our goal is to divert financial resources and thus encourage more environmentally friendly projects and needs.
That’s actually what we’re doing right now – we’ve launched these products because we want to influence consumer demand, so that will lead to more selective production. As a member of the BBVA group, we are doing our part to reverse the trend of climate change and make our contribution to the well-being and improvement of future generations and the ecosystem.
- What are the sustainable credit products that Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance has launched?
We have kept the product very simple. We now finance all types of green products, such as electric or hybrid cars, solar panels, energy efficient household appliances, insulation, electric batteries for homes, electric scooters, etc. We even promote this product for home purchases, providing unsecured finance to supplement the missing amount for a client, when they want to purchase a certified green home.
- What options do customers have when it comes to green financing?
First of all, by buying a green product there is a long term profit. Less consumption of resources (eg water, electricity, gas, etc.) through sustainable investment leads to more rationalized financial expenditure. A smart and sustainable purchase means less consumption of electricity or water in the house, less gas for heating by insulating the walls, less fuel for your car.
Second, we provide special benefits. Our loan has a grace period of one month, and once you prove the destination of the loan by providing us with relevant documents, such as invoices, sales contract, etc., we mark the customer in the system, and when it comes to its last 2 payments, after 5 years, Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance covers them for the customer. In this way, the offer is even more attractive compared to many financial offers that exist on the market.
- What are Guaranteed consumer financing BBVAthe medium-term plans of?
We aim to meet the needs of our customers and be present anytime, anywhere they need us. For this reason, we are investing heavily in digitization. We value relationships and will continue to create value and maximize customer satisfaction.