Eurozone banks continued to cut their pile of soured debt in the final quarter of last year, European Central Bank data showed on Monday, working away on a key legacy of the bloc’s debt crisis which has weighed on growth and bank profits.
Nonperforming loans at banks supervised by the ECB fell to 721 billion euros by the end of last year from 759 billion a year earlier, with Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece all making progress, the data showed.
The ratio of bad debt for the bloc fell below 5 percent last year but remains over 10 percent for Italy, Ireland and Portugal; in the case of Greece, it was 45 percent, where NPLs fell to 101 billion euros at end-2017, from 106 billion euros three months earlier, while in Spain they fell to 106 billion euros from 112 billion euros.
Banks in Italy were sat on 187 billion euros’ worth of bad debt at the end of last year, over a quarter of the eurozone’s total, but this is down from 196 billion three months earlier and 248 billion a year ago. (Reuters)