In recent years, Romania has been facing a destabilization of the relationship between clients and banks, caused by the Romanians` lack of faith in banking institutions. Some of the main issues are the contracts and the lack of transparency when it comes to all clauses. Clients feel cheated. Moreover, according to a survey concerning the level of financial education among Romanians, conducted by the company GFK Romania and commissioned by the Romanian Bank Association (ARB), 41% of those who resorted to a financial product had not read the signed contracts in full. BCR, one of the largest banks in Romania, could not remain indifferent to this situation, and as such came up with an original solution – the project ”Bank-Speak for Everyone”.
We decided to collaborate with three famous authors, Ioan T Morar, Vlad Petreanu and Simona Tache, in order to rewrite the most frequently used BCR contracts in an accessible language: the consumer credit, the credit card, and the mortgage real estate loan.
Through eloquent titles and colloquial discourse, the authors summarize the most important information needed by those interested in obtaining banking loans. Each writer had the freedom to rewrite the contract in their own manner, using other terms than the banking and legal jargon. The ”translated” contracts received creative layouts and names: The Future Comes on a Card (the credit card contract), The Loan without a Tie (the consumer loan), The Real Estate Loan in Romanian (the real estate loan). The initiative was promoted in a press conference organized at the Humanitas Bookshop.
The results of this project included 150,000 contracts ”translated into Romanian”, now offered to BCR clients, together with the official contracts. The press run will be refreshed as the stock depletes. More than 520 bank offices throughout the country distribute the contracts and almost 2,000 banking specialists were involved in contract distribution. The initiative generated over 30 positive articles in the press and 20 online mentions.