Most banks near end of action plans


The restructuring plans that domestic lenders have agreed with the European authorities are approaching completion, as all actions provided will have to be implemented by the end of next year.

The systemic banks are moving ahead with the concession of their subsidiaries in Southeastern Europe and elsewhere, as well as the sale of hotel units, real estate companies, insurance firms and other holdings.

Alpha and Eurobank have almost finished their entire plans, while National has fulfilled some 85 percent of the pledges it had undertaken. Piraeus Bank will have to pick up its pace as it is lagging somewhat in the implementation of its restructuring plan, which is also attributed to administrative changes at the lender last year: Piraeus operated under temporary management for about 10 months last year. Now, with its new managers in place, it is hastening to complete the sale of various holdings it owns before the end of this year.

The restructuring plans were agreed with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp) after the third recapitalization of the banks toward the end of 2015. They provided for a series of actions such as size reduction, sale of subsidiaries abroad, departure from non-banking activities, and sale of holdings among others.

In practice, the new plans constitute a revision or expansion of the restructuring blueprint agreed in the context of the first recapitalization in 2012-13. The objective of the current plans – via the liquidation of assets – has been for banks to rapidly return the state support they received in the context of the recapitalizations. The revised plans cover a three-year period, so everything has to be completed by December 2018.