Pandemic-linked stock of NPLs to be “manageable” Deputy FinMin says

Any increase in the stock of non-performing loans create by the pandemic crisis is expected to be “manageable” for the four systemic banks of the country said Deputy Finance Minister George Zavvos on Tuesday.

Speaking in Parliament, Zavvos said that the European Central Bank and the SSM have not offered any evidence of an imminent explosion of NPLs because of the pandemic, adding that “evidence we have so far from the four systemic banks showed that the stock of non-performing loans from the pandemic will be exceed 4-5 billion euros. In other words, it will be a sum that is completely manageable under the Hercules programme implemented by the government and operates with the confidence of international investors.”

The Hercules programme, designed to reduce the stock of NPLs, has tangible results, the Greek minister said, adding that it helped in a reduction of NPLs by 32 billion euros during the initial period of its implementation “without costing Greek taxpayers even a single euro”. Zavvos said that the government will table an extension of the Hercules programme aimed at reducing the stock of NPLs by at least 32 billion euros with the aim of achieving single-digit NPL rates from this year.