Banks ask for ESM’s co­op­er­a­tion

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The Hel­lenic Bank As­so­ci­a­tion (HBA) yes­ter­day pre­sented the head of the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism, Klaus Regling, with fig­ures show­ing the im­prove­ment in the fun­da­men­tals of the lo­cal credit sys­tem in 2016 while in­form­ing him of the chal­lenges it now faces, par­tic­u­larly as re­gards liq­uid­ity and the ef­fi­cient man­age­ment of non­per­form­ing loans.

Ac­cord­ing to an HBA state­ment, its rep­re­sen­ta­tion noted to Regling that Greek banks have re­turned to profit de­spite the ad­verse op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment, and are main­tain­ing sat­is­fac­tory cap­i­tal ad­e­quacy ra­tios and pro­vi­sions to achieve the am­bi­tious tar­gets for the re­duc­tion of non­per­form­ing loans in the next three years.

It was also high­lighted that meet­ing the tar­gets also depends on the lift­ing of un­cer­tainty and the im­prove­ment of eco­nomic con­di­tions, and that the Greek banks in­tend to co­op­er­ate with all in­sti­tu­tional au­thor­i­ties in­clud­ing the ESM so as to tackle the ma­jor chal­lenges of the Greek credit sys­tem.

Rep­re­sent­ing the HBA at the meet­ing in Lux­em­bourg were its pres­i­dent Niko­laos Karamouzis, vice pres­i­dent Vas­sil­ios Ra­panos, ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee head Spyri­don Pa­paspy­rou, gen­eral sec­re­tary Harik­leia Apala­gaki and the head of the fi­nan­cial com­mit­tee, Vas­sil­ios Psaltis.

One in five Greek con­sumers chooses the prod­ucts they buy ac­cord­ing to the coun­try of ori­gin, opt­ing for lo­cal goods over im­ports, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by Kapa Re­search pre­sented yes­ter­day. The main cri­te­rion re­mains price, for 49.5 per­cent of con­sumers, fol­lowed by the brand (25 per­cent).

Head­ing the HBA rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Lux­em­bourg was its pres­i­dent Niko­laos Karamouzis.

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