The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banking: Is Moldova unreformable?

In 2014, a $1 billion bank fraud nearly bankrupted the tiny state. It came through in better shape thanks to reformist policymakers, an IMF bailout and the sale of big banks. But a Russia-leaning administration now threatens to undo those reforms.


A stall sells Putin merchandise in Chisinau, Moldova 

To visit Moldova is to be presented with a stark reminder of the difficulty of genuine reform. Since declaring independence in 1991, the Republic of Moldova, a tiny sliver of a country squeezed between Ukraine and Romania, has struggled for cohesion, meaning and identity.

Since 1991, its population has shrunk by around a third. Around 2.7 million people remain, a quarter of whom live in Chisinau. Venture outside the capital and silence descends.

When Dmitry Pankin, president of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, a Greece-based multilateral, visited a winery in central Moldova, he saw that “all the lights in the villages were off. So many have left the country.”

Depopulation is described as a “demographic disaster” by the Moldovan Red Cross. Juan Ortigosa, the chief executive of BCR Chisinau, the local division of Romanian lender Banca Comerciala Romana, itself part of Austria’s Erste Group, warns that unless government makes Moldova a more attractive place to live and invest in, “we will get to a point where there is no population left to govern and no taxpayers left to pay tax.”

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree