Cooperative banks’ concentration process

Cooperative banks’ concentration process

The consolidation plan of the cooperative banks is in full progress, following the revoking of the license of Olympus Cooperative Bank and the transfer of the deposits it held to National Bank of Greece.

The Bank of Greece announced that the revocation of the operating license was because the cooperative lender “did not have the minimum equity capital required nor did it manage to raise the required funds after the impractical expiry of the deadline it had been given.” Olympus Cooperative was the result of the absorption of the Cooperative Bank of Evros by the Cooperative Bank of Drama.

The decision is part of the wider strategy for the concentration of cooperative banks, through moves such as the absorption of the Cooperative Bank of Central Macedonia by Pancreta Bank, which is expected to be completed by the end of September this year. It was preceded by Pancreta’s share capital increase of 98.7 million euros with the entry of Thrivest Holdings.

Kathimerini understands that the consolidation drive being launched includes the share capital increase planned by the Cooperative Bank of Epirus, while the issue of the Hania Cooperative Bank remains open – after the collapse of talks with Pancreta – without currently facing any direct capital aid problems.

After these moves, the sector of cooperative banks has shrunk significantly and now has only four banks, i.e. the Karditsa Cooperative Bank, which is also the healthiest cooperative with a nonperforming loan ratio of 17% and a total capital adequacy ratio of 21% (based on of 2021), the Cooperative Bank of Epirus (with assets of €287 million and a capital adequacy ratio of 16%), the Cooperative Bank of Thessaly (with assets of €302 million and a capital adequacy ratio of 13.8%) and that of Hania, which is the largest cooperative with assets of €680 million, loans of €487 million, an NPL ratio of 48% and total capital adequacy ratio of 13% (2021 data).

As far as the Olympus Cooperative Bank is concerned, the deposits amounting to €80-85 million are being transferred to NBG and according to the announcement by the systemic lender, “they are fully guaranteed.” The start date of service to Olympus clients by the branch and online networks of National Bank was Tuesday.

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