Stournaras warns banks over non-performing exposures

19 December 2016
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Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras has warned that banks that fail to adequately reduce non-performing exposures (NPEs) could face penalties.

“Banks must take the initiative. If banks don’t, then there is a problem,” Stournaras said in an interview with the Financial Times published Monday.

“But they will do so because we have targets for NPL (non-performing loans) reduction. If they don’t achieve the targets, then there are going to be penalties, both regulatory and administrative,” he said.

Greece’s central bank boss said a new legal armory was in place to deal with the problem.

“For instance, banks can force incumbent shareholders either to put more capital into their companies so these can pay back their debts or effectively step down,” Stournaras said.

“There are surely investors who want to invest in hotels in Greece, so finding fresh capital and investors is rather not a problem there,” he said.

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