300% increase in risk management services provided to Romanian companies since the start of the war in Ukraine

24 martie 2022

The conflict in Ukraine is impacting the way Romanian companies, especially those involved in international trade, are doing business. The past month has seen a surge of volatility in the currency market similar to the situation at the start of the pandemic. In this climate of uncertainty, companies that regularly make international payments have turned to risk management services to reduce their exposure to currency risks.

Since the start of the conflict, iBanFirst's Romanian office has recorded a 300% increase in the demand for risk management services. As a result, it has recorded a 250% increase in total transaction volume in the last quarter of 2021 and the number of SMEs that have signed up to the platform has almost doubled from the monthly average of 20.

"Faced with the new wave of currency and commodity volatility that has emerged in the context of the situation in Ukraine, the reaction of companies to protect their deposits and investments is natural. In such times of instability, fintechs are demonstrating their competence as business partners, thanks to their proven transparency, speed and efficiency. One of our goals during this period is to help our clients manage their currency risks through financial tools that are adapted to their individual business models. In addition, we have been involved in relocating business partners and their families from Ukraine and will continue to provide support to those in need”, said Alin Latu, Country Manager of iBanFirst Romania.

As a trend that is already visible and will continue during the conflict, companies that have business partnerships with suppliers in Ukraine are turning to Turkey and other European markets for supplies of goods and materials.

Mihaela Munteanu, Financial Business Partner – Eturia: "We organize customized trips to exclusive locations, which must be booked and paid for in advance. In the current climate of uncertainty large fluctuations in exchange rates can influence our clients' decisions. This is why Eturia has chosen to protect itself through hedging services that allow us to book these trips 6-9 months in advance and  recover our money from our clients after a few months without risking financial losses. The transparency of the transaction process also gives us confidence that our service providers will collect payments quickly and securely."

Eugen Bîrsescu, CFO-Bulrom Gas & Octano Downstream: "In a time when optimizing costs, of raw materials and financial operations, is a big challenge, we need a financial partner that is flexible and supports us on the operational side. We found the Payment Tracker option useful during this period as both our partners and us are able to see the status of transactions in real time."

iBanFirst operates a state-of-the-art online banking platform that allow companies to make fast, cost-effective and secure transactions in over 30 currencies and protect themselves against foreign exchange risks. Its unique open banking feature allows clients to handle all their foreign exchange transactions on a single interface, from initiating payments to settling foreign suppliers’ invoices. This simplifies their day-to-day operations. In addition, payers and beneficiaries alike can track the status of payments in real time, allowing them to gain full visibility over the transaction process.

The variety of financial services offered, the transparency of the trading processes and the support provided by expert teams are key factors for the growing interest iBanFirst garners in the local market. The fintech recently strengthened its presence in South-East Europe by opening an office in Bulgaria, with further office openings planned in Italy and Hungary. iBanFirst caters to companies with an annual foreign exchange trading volume of EUR 500,000 and more.