Attica Bank aims to further reduce its NPL portfolio this year

Attica Bank aims to make further drastic reductions of its non-performing loans portfolio by the end of 2018, so that its NPLs drop to around European average levels, along with a strong comeback in the domestic market, fully restructured and ready to focus on banking operations.

Dimitrios Anagnostopoulos, Attica Bank’s Chief Risk Officer (CRO), speaking to ANA on Monday, said that the first step in this direction has already been completed with the transfer – through a securitisation of NPLs worth 1.3 billion euros in August 2017. The bank recorded profits of 70 million euros through these transactions, fully covering the sum needed under the adverse scenario of a 2015 stress test, while it significantly reduced its non-performing exposure (NPEs) to 37 pct (a decline of more than 55 pct).

In late December 2017, Attica Bank completed a second securitisation of NPLs, worth around 700.5 million euros, a move which could led to an NPEs rate of less than 20 pct, Anagnostopoulos said.

He said Attica Bank opted for this model to drastically reduce its NPLs because it fitted to the bank’s profile at this point. The bank’s relatively small size, the determination and efficiency of its management team, the size of the problem and the bank’s structural characteristics were compatible with ensuring the success of this action, he noted.

Anagnostopoulos also emphasised the internal reorganisation and restructuring of the bank, along with strategic decisions already taken which will result in the sustainable reduction of NPLs to reach European average levels.

Attica Bank’s executive said that the general economic environment prevailing in Greece supported the banks’ efforts to reduce their NPLs, as there was strong interest by international and domestic investors encouraged by signs of Greek economic recovery.

Anagnostopoulos said the challenge facing a bank was not to offer new loans, but to create the infrastructure to manage its customer base with competitive and attractive products and services, modern ideas of covering customers’ needs and with the necessary risk profile that will not endanger its balance sheet.

Attica Bank has made its strategic choices, based on emphasis to be given to small- and medium-sized enterprises, supporting its retail banking customers, rapidly implementing its infrastructure and becoming a “challenger bank” for the Greek market, he said.

Referring to the role of risk management in modern banking, Anagnostopoulos stressed it was a strategic pylon as it covered all operations of a banking group and ensured long-term sustainability and development.