Stournaras asks for more work on NPLs
Central banker Yannis Stournaras yesterday called on the managers of the country’s commercial banks to buckle down and speed up procedures for tackling nonperforming loans.
The informal meeting, held at the Bank of Greece, heard Stournaras ask not only for the NPL-reduction targets set by the European Central Bank’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) to be met, but also to be exceeded.
Even if banks do make the ambitious SSM target of bringing NPLs down from 75.2 billion euros in March 2017 to 40.2 billion by end-2019, the Greek credit system will still have the biggest bad-loan rate in the eurozone, demanding an even greater effort.
Meanwhile a Morgan Stanley report estimates that there has been progress on the NPLs front, following meetings between its researchers and local bankers and institutional officials in Greece. Its analysis notes that an asset quality review is not likely for Greek lenders, and that the reduction of nonperforming exposures is continuing even though there was little progress in restructuring corporate loans in the year to end-June.
Thousands of Greeks chose to beat the queues at banks on Monday and pay their income tax installment using credit cards, securing them the right to pay their dues in 12 tranches instead of the three the state normally allows. Around 170 million euros was paid through cards, up 10 percent on a year earlier.