Tuesday October 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
ECB sees bad-debt rules as threat to credible bank review

By Sonia Sirletti & Jeff Black

The European Central Bank is concerned that national differences in how bad debt is classified could cripple its probe into the health of euro-area banks, according to an internal ECB document.

Bad-debt classification practices across Europe show “material differences that, if not considered, would severely affect the consistency and credibility of the exercise,” according to the undated document obtained by Bloomberg News. A person familiar with the text said it was drawn up in late November and contains the ECB’s latest thinking on the subject. An ECB spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Frankfurt-based ECB is conducting a three-stage assessment of bank assets before it assumes oversight of about 130 lenders across the 18-member euro area this November. Using a strict definition of bad debt could threaten banks in countries hit hardest by Europe’s debt crisis, while a laxer rule may not reveal the true condition of the region’s financial system.

“A more ambitious definition would be consistent with the need to convey to external observers that the AQR is a thorough exercise,” the document said, referring to the Asset Quality Review stage of the Comprehensive Assessment. That’s set to culminate with a stress test run in cooperation with the European Banking Authority before October this year.

The ECB document said that not all countries may be able to comply with simplified definitions of non-performing loans set out in October by the London-based EBA, the EU’s top bank regulator, while saying that alignment to those rules is “of the essence.”

The ECB signaled it would apply the EBA’s simplified definition as a minimum, and where possible increase the level of detail on loans made by banks. The EBA sets financial standards for the 28 nations in the European Union, and is working with the ECB on the final part of the Comprehensive Assessment.

That minimum means the ECB would define as non-performing all exposures, including loans, debt securities, financial guarantees and other commitments, which are past due for more than 90 days. That differs from final, more complex, standards, due to be implemented by EBA by the end of this year, that include data on the likelihood of the borrower repaying. Only half of the countries examined could supply that data, according to the ECB report, while limiting the definition to the 90-day rule “seems feasible for the majority of countries.”

Euro-area lenders from Banco Santander SA (SAN) in Spain to Alpha Bank SA (ALPHA) in Greece will come under ECB supervision, with oversight forming the first pillar of a nascent banking union designed to mitigate future financial turmoil.

ECB policy makers have said the central bank will provide more information on the treatment of non-performing loans and the parameters of the concluding stress test by the end of January.

While the simplified EBA rules should be adhered to in the Comprehensive Assessment as a minimum, adding further detail to the assessment could be possible since ECB officials will already be in contact with bank staff, the document said.

“Given the possibility to perform more granular analysis during the on-site visits, it is proposed that this analysis takes into account a more ambitious definition including the unlikeliness to repay criterion,” according to the document.

The ECB said that as there are so many variations between countries on the definition of forbearance -- where banks shift the terms of a loan to account for a change in the debtor’s own income -- the only possibility is to accept national definitions where they exist, as well as loans that were considered in that category until the end of 2012 but have since been recategorized.

For countries where no standard definition exists, the ECB said it may ask states to report all loans for which concessions have been granted as forborne. [Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 14, 2014 (11:17)  
Greek yields drop to 7.83 pct as investors await ECB move
Athens bourse index leaps on big bank gains
Think-tank says political uncertainty slowing investment in Greece
Tax debts to Greek state exceed 70 billion euros
Greek kids top weight charts
Greek children aged 7 and 9 have the highest average body weight among 16 European countries surveyed by the World Health Organization, according to data made public Tuesday. Just under 49 p...
Barroso looks back on fight to keep Greece in euro
Looking back on his 10 years at the European Commission, the outgoing President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday that preventing Greece leaving the eurozone had been one of the most signi...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
According to recent reports, the European Central Bank plans to reduce the “57 percent penalty,” that is the discount applied to almost all Greek government bonds (GGBs) held as collateral b...
INTERVIEW
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
For a decade, until mid-2012, Josef Ackermann was the CEO at Deutsche Bank. It was a position that earned him the nickname “shadow chancellor” of Germany and allowed him to play a decisive r...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek kids top weight charts
2. Greek yields drop to 7.83 pct as investors await ECB move
3. Barroso looks back on fight to keep Greece in euro
4. Konstantopoulos criticizes gov’t as corruption probe continues
5. Greek gov´t calls on parties to condemn Maziotis threat
6. Austrian president begins two-day visit to Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Gang importing heroin into Greece busted
3. Self-opposing coalition
4. Greece said to seek tailor-made plan for bailout exit
5. Gutsy rectors
6. Applications for heating oil subsidy set to start
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
3. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
4. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
5. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
6. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.