Patelis optimistic about the evolution of the Greek financial system


The head of the Prime Minister’s financial office, Alexis Patelis, expressed his optimism about the evolution of the Greek financial system, noting that “in 2019, half of the portfolio was made up of bad debts, so we could not speak of a banking system that could grant loans. The main goal was to change that.

Speaking at the “Banking Summit: Paving the way for growth”, Patelis said that “from 2016 to 2019, there was no serious settlement of bad debts”, and added that “coming soon, our fellow citizens will see their debts begin to reduce”. There were banks that were considered to be in a difficult situation, we saw a series of capital increases. Now we are talking about a completely different framework.

According to Patelis, “the problem is now behind us” and what follows is that “banks must justify their raison d’être: they must grant loans, return to profitability, distribute dividends”. As he pointed out, “the four systemic banks are ready to channel lending to the private sector through the Recovery Fund,” saying “this will soon be proven in practice.” “The government is helping by facilitating the process,” he added.

At the same time, he considered that besides credit, the big challenges are digitalization and competition, saying that “from now on, other civil servants will be brought into the market with the expansion of credit”, citing as an example Viva Wallet, which has plans to expand credit to small and medium businesses.

He also said that “we will soon see a series of credit products that will surprise us with its complexity and range,” adding that “Greek banks have challenges and great opportunities ahead of them. They are no longer classified as cheap bank stocks.
He noted that “for a decade, an entire generation has not received bank credit”, therefore, “here the banks have to prove that they can take advantage of the opportunity”.

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