Making the most of wealth
As a small class of wealthy individuals emerge in Romania, The Diplomat looks at the ways in which they can manage their riches
What does a hard-working business person want to do once he or she has made a load of money? Stick it in a current account with an interest rate related to inflation? Or allow the money to start working for itself? Well, banks in Romania are beginning to offer this second service through more advanced finance products so that, in order for rich clients to manage their wealth, they no longer need to jump on a jet plane and travel to Switzerland, Frankfurt or the British Virgin Islands. The threshold to become a private banking client in Romania is between 75,000 and 100,000 Euro. In central and eastern Europe (such as in Prague and Budapest), the limit for private banking clients is the same, but in Austria the threshold is one million Euro. Around 50,000 citizens constitute potential clients for private banking services, according to an ING Bank survey. Most of them are concentrated in Bucharest and they do not make use of advanced financial products and services, such as bonds and titles, preferring to invest in real-estate, business assets and material treats such as yachts or cars.