Greek banks have made significant progress, Karamouzis says

Greek banks have made significant progress in boosting their capital and stabilizing the banking system, improved all their financial indexes, liquidity and deposits, capital adequacy, reducing NPEs, accessing markets and financing the real economy, Nikolaos Karamouzis, president of Hellenic Bank Association said on Monday.

Addressing an Economist conference in Athens, National Bank’s CEO Pavlos Mylonas stressed that Greek banks needed to redefine their mission and to transform themselves, promoting new ways to create wealth beyond the traditional banking services.

Karamouzis said that a competition battle will be decided on three significant factors: first, the ability to efficiently manage and rapidly reduce NPEs by preserving financial robustness, market access and market confidence, second, rapidly and efficiently completing a technological upgrading of the banks, along with operating and business adjustment and third, the ability of each bank to daily strengthen quality elements of competition offering a permanent competitive advantage.

He noted that banks have made significant progress in stabilizing and enhancing the system. “A lot of crucial issues have been resolved, a new institutional framework is ready, but several challenges still remain and we must deal with them efficiently, with plan, cooperation and patience,” he added.

Mylonas underlined the need for a digital transformation of the domestic banking system and presented the benefits to clients, banks and economic growth. “Digital transformation is not an option any more, but a necessity currently underway. The banking system must respond immediately to this challenge. National Bank is preparing for the new digital era, raising its prospects of creating new products and solutions for its clients,” National Bank’s CEO said.

He added that a lot of newcoming players in the market will disappear five years from now and the banking sector will dramatically change. “That’s why we need to redefine our mission,” he noted.