ECONOMY

Voluntary exit scheme weighs on Alpha results

Greece’s fourth-largest lender Alpha Bank reported a third-quarter loss on Tuesday because of the costs related to a voluntary redundancy scheme for its staff.

Alpha, which passed the European Central Bank’s stress test last month, fell to a net loss of 156.9 million euros after taking a charge of 194.5 million euros on the scheme, which cut its staff by 20 percent.

Comparative figures for the third quarter of 2013 were not provided.

In the nine months to the end of September, Alpha remained profitable, reporting net earnings of 110.5 million euros thanks to a 422-million-euro deferred tax benefit in the second quarter.

Alpha, 66.4 percent-owned by Greece’s HFSF bank rescue fund, added 337 million euros in provisions in the third quarter, raising the group’s accumulated bad-debt provisions to 12.7 billion euros.

The bank’s nonperforming credit was flat quarter-on-quarter at 33.6 percent of its loan book at end-September.

Lower wholesale funding costs helped Alpha increase its net interest income by 21.1 percent year-on-year to 1.44 billion euros.

[Reuters]