Cen­tral clear­ing house to help banks off­load NPLs

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The cre­ation of a cen­tral clear­ing house may help Europe’s banks re­duce the trillions of eu­ros of bad loans on their books by in­creas­ing trans­parency, a se­nior Euro­pean Com­mis­sion of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day. Eight years since the col­lapse of Lehman Broth­ers trig­gered a global bank­ing melt­down, Europe’s banks are es­ti­mated to have about 3 tril­lion eu­ros in non­per­form­ing loans (NPLs), crimp­ing their abil­ity to lend and scar­ing off in­vestors. The fig­ures are wor­ry­ing, Gert-Jan Koop­man, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral for state aid at the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, told a con­fer­ence. “We have 10 mem­ber-states, in which the NPL ra­tio is still above 10 per­cent ac­cord­ing to our estimates. More than 40 per­cent of NPLs is con­cen­trated in five mem­ber-states alone, Cyprus, Greece, Slove­nia, Por­tu­gal and Italy. Italy alone holds 25 per­cent of all NPLs in the Euro­pean bank­ing sys­tem,” he said.

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