Christos Megalou, the CEO of Piraeus Bank, told CNBC Monday that there has been a “significant improvement” in this area, but he “would like to see even more in reducing the amount of NPLs in the banks’ balance sheets.”
“The four systemic banks have agreed among themselves to reduce the non-performing loans between now and 2021 by 50 billion euros ($56 billion). 50 billion is almost 28 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product) of this country. It is a significant percentage vis-a-vis the actual percentage being produced by this country. I would like to see this happening and I would be very happy if we are able to achieve these targets as we have set ourselves out to achieve,” he said in Athens.
In the case of Piraeus, the aim is to reduce NPLs by 15 billion euros before 2021. This after having reduced bad loans by 5 billion euros in 2018, the CEO said.
“The more weapons you have in your arsenal to address the issue, the better,” Megalou said on further initiatives from the Bank of Greece and the finance ministry to help the banks with this task.
Greece put an end to nearly 10 years of financial help after it ended a third financial rescue in August and has vowed to stick to stringent fiscal targets in the coming years in exchange for some debt relief.