ECONOMY

Greek lenders top bad loan table

Attempts by the eurozone’s 20 largest banks to anticipate the outcome of European Central Bank stress tests continued in earnest in the first half, as lenders boosted equity levels and set aside more money for bad loans.

Data compiled by Reuters shows the 20 listed banks increased equity by 4 percent, or 26 billion euros, in the period and put a similar amount into loan-loss provisions ahead of the ECB ruling on whether banks must raise cash, or revalue assets.

The Reuters data show the level of bad loans recognized by the 20 banks was stable at just over 500 billion euros.

But banks took an extra 26 billion euros of provisions for losses on those loans, even though the eurozone’s economy strengthened.

Troubled loans now account for 11.1 percent of banks’ total loans.

Greece’s Piraeus has the highest proportion of bad loans, accounting for 38.5 percent of total loans, ahead of National Bank of Greece on 23.2 percent.

[Reuters]