Greek banks need a decade to cut NPLs to 5 pct

Greek banks need a decade to cut NPLs to 5 pct

It will take Greek banks about a decade to bring their nonperforming loans down to the levels of their European peers, according to DBRS.

In a report, the rating agency argues that local lenders will have to slash problematic loans by 90 percent from existing levels in order to bring their NPL index down to an acceptable 5 percent of their total portfolio. The same applies to Cypriot banks, but these are projected to require approximately seven years to reach the same target.

There are also five banks in Portugal and three in Slovenia that have a high number of NPLs and need to reduce them by 75 percent to bring their index below 5 percent, while three Irish banks will need to implement a 70 percent drop and 11 Italian lenders 60 percent.

According to DBRS, the problem of high NPLs will remain for several years in numerous European lenders and their financial reports will take a long time to be streamlined.

The agency argues that without any additional measures to tackle NPLs in Europe, the problem will persist for years to come, even though the European Central Bank has focused on the issue and has set the reduction of the bad-loan stock as a top priority.

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