Romania's Parliament has approved a bill to help holders of mortgages that were taken out is Swiss francs by converting them into Romanian currency at the rate at which they were borrowed.

In the mid-2000s, thousands of Romanians took out low interest rate loans denominated in Swiss francs. When the Swiss franc increased in value, they found it hard to repay the loans.

Lawmakers approved the bill in a 248-0 vote Tuesday. It still requires the signature of President Klaus Iohannis before it becomes law.

The central bank, which is opposed to the measure, said it would cost local banks about 2.4 billion lei ($600 million).

It said that out of a total of about 75,000 loans, there have been about 57,000 conversion and restructuring requests filed by borrowers.