The Bank of Greece issues the licenses to bad-loan management companies.
The reason for the delay observed in the licensing of companies to manage nonperforming loans – whose applications have risen to 10, up from seven submitted by December – is the particularly demanding institutional framework. Out of the candidate companies, just one has received a license, with the other nine still pending.
Besides Aktua, a joint venture set up by the Spanish company of the same name and Alpha Bank, which is the only one to have obtained a permit to date, Eurobank is also on the list for securing a license. The new company it will set up to manage nonperforming loans, FPS, will result from the merger and evolution of the debt management companies that the Eurobank Group had until recently, and sources say it will be the next to get a license from the Bank of Greece – probably very soon.
The long list of enterprises to have applied includes major debt managers such as LXM, Centerbridge, Kaican and Alvarez & Marsal. It also includes US fund KKR through its European debt management platform, Pillarstone. The fact that none of the NPL management market’s big names has been licensed is indicative of the difficulties identified in the existing legal framework, mainly excessive regulations and bureaucracy.