Greece’s second-largest lender National Bank (NBG) plans to reduce its non-performing loan portfolio to around 5 percent of total loans by 2022, it said in an investor presentation on Thursday, from 41 percent at the end of 2018.
Soured loans are the biggest challenge facing Greek banks, the legacy of a multi-year debt crisis that shrank the country’s economy by a quarter and drove unemployment to a high of nearly 28 percent in 2013.
NBG said it saw a “material reduction” in its exposure to non-performing debt by 2020, driven by sales in consumer and corporate portfolios.
It also anticipates large mortgage securitisations between 2021 and 2022, when market conditions are expected to have improved.
Gross non-performing exposures were seen at around 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in 2022, from 16.3 billion at the end of 2018.
NBG is 40 percent owned by the country’s bank rescue fund HFSF, which acquired stakes in major Greek banks during the years of crisis.
Greek banks need to slash their non-performing loan rate to below 10 percent of total loans to return to sustainable growth, HFSF said earlier this year.
Non-performing exposures stood at 81.8 billion euros in the country’s bank sector in December, or 46.7 percent of banks’ loan books.