Lenders urged to join bailout

Bank of Greece Governor Giorgos Provopoulos urged lenders yesterday to take advantage of a 28-billion-euro government package to keep credit flowing and limit the economic damage caused by the financial crisis. At a meeting with Hellenic Bank Association (HBA) representatives, Provopoulos said a tightening of credit conditions could harm companies, particularly small and medium-sized ones, and households. «Making use of the government plan will prevent the creation of asphyxiating credit conditions in the Greek economy,» the Bank of Greece said in a statement. State-controlled ATEbank is the only Greek lender to have come forward and said it will use the facility, which has yet to be approved by Parliament. Marfin Investment Group has said none of its lenders will participate in the plan. Banks participating in the package, aimed at providing them with a capital and liquidity boost, will be subject to restrictions on pay, bonuses and dividends.