Italy opposes regulation prohibiting non-performing loans

CLAUDIO PERI

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (L) with Italian Economy Minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, attend a press conference after the Council of Ministers at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, 25 June 2017.

Italy opposes regulation prohibiting non-performing loans


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Italy’s Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan warned on Wednesday that changing the rules for the management of non-performing loans (NPLs) may hinder growth and undermine the stability of the banking system, Reuters reports.

As the Italian economy is resurging, the stock of bad debts accumulated by Italian banks is falling. In July, the total volume of so-called non-performing loans (NPLs) fell by €18bn or 10% of the total. The stock of bad debt has been reduced in manufacturing, real estate, and construction. Individual investors and funds such as Pimco and Fortress are willing to buy NPLs.

However, the European Central Bank is asking Europe’s banks to secure themselves for NPLs by 100%, beginning from January 1st, 2018. That will means the banks will need to significantly bolster their reserves, disrupting the flow of liquidity to the market.

The European Parliament wants to have the right to legislate on the future of NPLs and opposes unilateral regulation by the ECB on the matter. The European Commission is expected to present its own proposal by the end of the week.

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