BoG: Alarm over "red" loans

BoG: Alarm over "red" loans

Loans in the red have reached epidemic proportions as is borne out of the annual report from the Bank of Greece, showing they have multiplied six-fold over the last five years.

Euthimis Tsiliopoulos

In September 2013, nearly a third of all loans (31.2%) were not being serviced, while 45.8% of consumer loans and credit cards were not being serviced.

These figures comprise the biggest hurdle for the BoG and commercial banks that are seeking ways to stem this rising tide of debt. This has led to the formation of specialized bureaus to deal with this problem, while also undertaking mass loan restructurings.

As the BoG report notes the recession and the increase in tax burdens have crippled household and small business incomes, causing credit risk to rise, and leading to this six-fold rise in unserviced debts (September 2013: 31.2%, December 2008: 5.1%)

Loans in the red rose reasonably until 2010, but surged in 2011 and 2012 as a result of the deepening recession and the general uncertainty that affected transactions.

In the first nine months of 2013, the rate of unserviced loans began to taper off . Characteristically loans not covered by collateral, like consumer loans were observed to be those going unserviced to the tune of 45.8%.

Housing loans revealed the lowest rate of non-servicing (September 2013: 25.8%), while the rate for business loans at the same time stood at 31.2%.

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