The Romanian banking system has two levels: the first one includes the National Bank of Romania (BNR) and the second one comprises all the credit institutions. While the central bank is responsible for elaborating and implementing financial policies, issuing money, setting the exchange rates and supervising the other credit institutions, it has little to do with the actual customers. If you need financial services, feel free to contact the other banks, as you have more than 40 at your disposal. As most of these institutions are private and usually part of international groups, some of their banking services can be provided in English or other languages of international circulation. Here is a list of the most reliable banks in Romania, as well as some of their services.

Banca Comercială Română (BCR), member of Erste Group, is one of the biggest banking services providers in Romania. It manages local and foreign transactions from individual and corporate clients, as well as saving and investment instruments or insurance solutions. For retail clients they offer a wide range of services, from bank operations (current accounts and cards, transfers, bill payment, internet and phone banking, e-commerce solutions) to financing solutions (refinancing, loans or leasing) or protection services (private pensions, insurances). The bank has a network of over 650 branches and agencies all over the country, as well as the largest national ATM and POS network, with more than 2,200 machines and 18,000 terminals for card payments.

BRD – Groupe Société Générale is the second bank in Romania in what regards the banking assets. Having over 930 agencies and 1,300 ATMs, BRD serves more than 2.5 million clients who use over 2.3 million cards. The bank’s activity develops on three main markets: retail, corporate and investment banking. For individuals, BRD offers advantageous personal loans and deposits, current accounts, cards, transfers and payments, savings and investments solutions, as well as remote banking services. Apart from this, BRD – Groupe Société Générale offers special services for expats, such as special products, consultancy and recommendations.

Banca Transilvania (BT) is the largest banking institution with (primarily) Romanian private capital. BT is the first credit institution in Romania to be listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. At the end of the first half of 2011, the bank ranked 3rd in the top of the banks in Romania, in terms of assets. The bank’s activity is divided into four business lines: retail, SMEs, corporate and the Medical Division, each segment being supported by specialized teams and a comprehensive portfolio of products and services. Banca Transilvania provides to its retail clients a varied offer of loans, deposits and cards. In what regards the latter service, BT has issued over 1.4 million cards and has over 8,000 terminals for card payments. Other services include internet banking, money transfer, bill payment, investments and insurances. BT is present in all major economic centers in the country with a network of over 550 branches, agencies and outlets.

ING Bank Romania is part of ING Group, a Dutch international financial institution which provides banking services and products to over 85 million customers, companies and institutions in 50 countries. In Romania, ING Bank offers a complete range of products and services to all categories of clients that it addresses: individuals, SMEs, corporations and financial institutions. Apart from the regular services offered by almost all the banks to their retail clients, such as the traditional credit cards, deposits, loans and insurances, and the more modern internet and mobile banking, ING revolutionized the electronic services with the introduction of the Self-Banking service. Besides the banking division, ING Group is present in Romania through the following divisions: ING Life Insurance, ING Pensions, ING Lease, ING Commercial Finance and ING Real Estate Investment Management.

CEC Bank is a Romanian commercial bank which offers financial products and services to its clients, focusing mainly on financing SMEs, agriculture and local public administrations, as well as those projects that, by their nature, trigger economic development and job creation. At the end of 2011, CEC Bank received the Corporate Bank of the Year Award. However, the bank offers many services to its individual clients, such as consumer loans, credit restructuring, credit and debit cards, savings instruments (fixed-rate saving book with time deposits, fixed-rate time deposit in domestic and foreign currency or term deposit with subsequent deposits), insurances, rapid money transfer, bill payment and consignment.

UniCredit Țiriac Bank, one of the top 5 banks on the Romanian market, is a member of UniCredit Group, an important international banking institution, with a network of 10,000 branches in 27 countries. In Romania, UniCredit Țiriac Bank has a network of 240 agencies, offering to its over 500,000 customers (individuals, SMEs, corporations, freelancers) financial solutions. The bank’s innovation stems from the implementation of banking packages that include financial products and services especially created to meet the customers’ needs. Apart from these, the bank also offers other special services, such as safe deposit boxes, online banking, telephone service and Info SMS, so that you are constantly updated with your bank transactions.

Raiffeisen Bank offers a wide range of high quality products and services to retail clients, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies. It uses a diversified distribution network comprised of: banking outlets, ATM and EPOS networks, phone-banking (Raiffeisen Direct), mobile-banking (myBanking) and internet banking (Raiffeisen Online). Raiffeisen Bank has over 540 outlets throughout the country, which assist around 2 million clients. The bank’s retail agencies are the specialized units that service individuals and SMEs, offering loans and savings opportunities, as well as other related services. Raiffeisen Bank is one of the most innovative banks in what regards the cards market: it was the first to launch a co-branded card and multifunctional chip credit cards. The bank offers a wide selection of debit and credit cards, for companies and individuals, in local or foreign currency, for international or national use.

Credit Europe Bank Romania addresses a variety of customers, from individuals to corporate clients, from small to large enterprises and institutions. For the retail banking sector, the bank offers to its customers deposits, loans, cards and transactions. Among the bank’s most used services, CardAvantaj has enjoyed the biggest success, as it was the first credit card in lei with national and international usage which offered the advantage of shopping with payment in installments. Credit Europe Bank also provides other innovative services such as the phone banking service, which supplies the clients with banking information and offers assistance for banking transactions. Moreover, the bank is the first to issue a debit card with built-in token device, making internet banking operations easier.

Alpha Bank offers a wide spectrum of financial-banking services and products, both for the retail and the corporate sectors, using its well-developed network of units situated in Bucharest and in all major cities of the country. The private clients are able to make a wide range of banking operations in lei and foreign currency through the current accounts, invest in mutual funds, take a loan or use their Alpha Bank credit card and benefit from certain promotions (for example, you can receive 10 lei for every transaction of minimum 200 lei made at merchants or ATM, in a certain period of time).