NPLs dominate talks with creditors


Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos arrives for Wednesday’s meeting with the creditors’ representatives.

TAGS: Finance, Banking

The effort to reduce bad loans in banks’ portfolios remains the focus of talks at the start of the fourth review, as the country’s creditors are pressing for the lifting of all barriers, the acceleration of auctions, the facilitation of sales and the settlement of debts.

The issue was at the center of negotiations on Wednesday between the government and the creditors’ representatives in Athens, and will be reviewed at Thursday’s planned meeting between the creditors and bank managers.

The creditors are particularly concerned whether, in the case of debt write-offs, the amount forgiven should be taxed as income, which would constitute a counterincentive for such settlements. They also question whether the transfer of nonperforming loan portfolios by banks to companies should bear value-added tax.

Also on the table on Wednesday at the Hilton Hotel were changes to the Katseli law, which protects borrowers’ main residences, with the aim of deterring those who do not fulfill the criteria from applying and delaying procedures, and the lifting of obstacles that bar borrowers from entering the extrajudicial settlement of debts.