International development banks criticize Romania over bank tax plans

Two major international development banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation, have formally complained to the Romanian government about proposed new banking sector taxes, according to Reuters.

In an unusual move, the London-based EBRD and IFC, which is part of the World Bank, sent a joint letter to Bucharest on Feb. 1 in which they outlined their concerns about the plans, says WSAU.com.

The EBRD has a number of large stakes in Romanian banks and the country’s central bank governor, Mugur Isarescu, cited the EBRD’s complaint on Monday as he delivered a second stinging attack on the plans in a less than a week.

“Those from the EBRD have a major problem, because in the case of Banca Transilvania for example, dozens if not tens of dozens of smaller foreign shareholders bought in based on their credibility.”

“When they saw what happened on the stock exchange, they started asking questions of those who … promoted the idea that Romania has a stable, responsible, predictable, reasonable legislation.”

An EBRD spokesman said: “We confirm that we sent a letter together with the IFC on 1 February”.

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