articles | 28 September 2015

Banks need new tools to tackle NPLs, says Finance Minister

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said that he expects a drop in non-performing loans in the banking system will result in economic growth and a 'balanced' mix of instruments in the banks’ tool-box.

“New tools institutionalised few months ago have to be allowed to operate and yield results,” Georgiades said in an interview with state-radio CyBC today in an obvious reference to the foreclosure and insolvency legislations which entered into force in April. “Additional tools and legislation are needed and I have to consider the draft bill for the sale of loans prepared by the Central Bank of Cyprus as important as it will help banks relieve their balance sheets without affecting the rights of borrowers. These measures are needed as much as also banks need to strengthen their efforts as they have all created specialised units to manage this problem”.

International creditors consider the tackling of non-performing loans that make up roughly half of the assets in the Cypriot banking system is a priority for Cyprus a priority.

Georgiades said that Cyprus may have to complete one more review before it finishes the financing period of its economic adjustment programme, the conditionality of which extends well beyond that, by restoring the government’s credit worthiness.

He added that the ministry was prepared to test the markets for a third time after the 2013 bailout and ruled out any fiscal relaxation ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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