Half of the NPLs in the eurozone are in Greece


There are fewer bad loans on the balance sheets of European banks but they remain high, the European Commission said on Thursday as it prepares to push through measures to force higher provisioning for soured debt despite the opposition of big lenders.

Despite the trend, bad loans were still worth 950 billion euros in the 28 European Union countries and accounted for 5.4 percent of total loans in the eurozone.

They are also unevenly spread across the bloc, with Greece having nearly half of all loans classified as NPLs, while in Germany and the Netherlands they account for less than 3 percent.

To tackle the problem, the Commission is planning new legislative measures in March, to speed up banks’ unloading of bad debts and to prevent a future buildup of NPLs.