OPINION

Lean, mean banking machines

Merging large, healthy private banks may prove to be a positive move in the drive to help Greece’s economic recovery. What the country needs is a small number of strong banks that can play a leading role in the broader region, by establishing a stronger presence in the Balkans. With help from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, local lenders are expected to see the financial crisis through and turn it into an opportunity for growth. Great care, of course, will have to be taken so that the banks, and their top echelons of management, do not become wholly absorbed by the merger process, because the market needs Greek banks to be focused. We need banks to operate like well-oiled machines that can cut off supply to clients that will clearly not benefit business and review all past loans that had been granted under questionable criteria. Our banks also need to be opening their doors to healthy businesses that need all the support they can get and to help them stay in the game.