ECONOMY

Zavvos: Pandemic-created NPLs ‘will be manageable’

zavvos-pandemic-created-npls-will-be-manageable

Any increase in the stock of nonperforming loans create by the pandemic crisis is expected to be “manageable” for the country’s four systemic banks, Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Zavvos said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Parliament, Zavvos said that the European Central Bank and the Single Supervisory Mechanism have not offered any evidence of an imminent explosion of NPLs because of the pandemic, adding that “the evidence we have so far from the four systemic banks showed that the stock of nonperforming loans from the pandemic will not exceed 4-5 billion euros. In other words, it will be a sum that is completely manageable under the Hercules program which is implemented by the government and operates with the confidence of international investors.”

The Hercules program, designed to reduce the stock of NPLs, has tangible results, the Greek minister said, adding that it helped in the reduction of NPLs by €32 billion during the initial period of its implementation “without costing Greek taxpayers even a single euro.”

Zavvos said the government will table an extension of the Hercules program with the aim of achieving single-digit NPL rates from this year.