16102018Headline:

Banking sector returns to normality, challenges remain, Karamouzis says

“Conditions in the banking sector are improving, progress made towards a return to normality is remarkable, but we still have important issues to deal with and initiatives to take before we fully restore our ability to smoothly finance our clients and the economy,” Nikolaos Karamouzis, president of Hellenic Bank Association, said on Tuesday.

Addressing the annual regular general assembly of shareholders of the Association, Karamouzis referred to the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Association, saying, “We’ve made our anniversary general assembly, with all our members present, in conditions justifying a cautious optimism for the Greek economy and the banking sector after successfully concluded the 2018 stress tests. Our report for 2017 was positive, and we wish this to become the starting point of a period of fundamental recovery of the Greek economy, contributing in dealing with challenges left by the crisis and a long period of recession and social cost we have all experienced.”

Karamouzis said important issues remained the excessive amount of NPLs, a slow return of deposits and a limited access to international markets, the impact of rapid technological changes in the financial sector, a new demanding regulatory/supervisory framework, intensifying competition and a stalemate of work that were the cause of serious concern.

A further improvement in economic and financial conditions will act as a catalyst for the successful resolution of all these challenges and the banking sector is ripe, ready and determined to contribute with its initiatives in speeding up the country’s exit from the crisis and its return to normality and development, he said.