Review delay undermining Greek banks’ plans


Greek banks are being forced to revise their main targets for 2017 downward due to delays in the completion of the second bailout review. These targets include profits, fresh deposits, new loans and the reduction of nonperforming loans.

Bank officials say that the momentum for a strong economic rebound of more than 2 percent in 2017 – on which the lenders’ targets were based – appears to have been lost. That scenario had relied on the review being concluded in November 2016, improving the climate considerably and laying the groundwork for a strong recovery this year.

A senior bank official told Kathimerini that if the review had been concluded, the country would have been counting down the days to its inclusion in the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, a key step toward restoring confidence and improving the market sentiment. If that had happened, banks would have been able to achieve an increase in deposits of more than 6 billion euros and more than 5 billion in new loan issues.

The chances of that outcome have now been minimized, as the review is not expected to be concluded before February, to say nothing of the uncertainty generated by the change in the US administration.