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.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Time is running out for Greek NPLs

The Greek banks’ bad debt reduction targets look eye-wateringly ambitious for a country that is only just getting to grips with a coordinated strategy to deal with the issue.

LB_column_banking-780

A mere decade after the financial crisis, Greek banks are finally showing signs of tackling their NPL exposures in earnest. However, this is due far more to pressure from the ECB and its desire to push ahead with banking union than a wholesale change in sentiment by the industry itself.

On January 24, Yannis Stournaras, governor of the Bank of Greece, declared that the “effective management of non-performing loans is the most important challenge for the banking industry today… If we think that it is desirable for the NPL ratio to converge rapidly to the European average, the Greek authorities must quickly form a consistent and coordinated approach to address the issue of NPLs in a systemic way, on top of banks’ individual efforts.”

A heavy emphasis should weigh on the word “if” in that statement.

NPLs at Greek banks have fallen 20% since their peak in 2016, but still stand at €88.6 billion, or 48% of total loans outstanding. Of the four largest banks, Piraeus Bank had 54.7% NPL exposure in June 2018, Alpha Bank 51.9%, National Bank of Greece 42% and Eurobank 40.7%. Across the EU, the average NPL ratio is now 4%.


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.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

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

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, 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

LOGIN NOW

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