Greek banks plan record sale of bad loans as pressure mounts

Three of Greece's largest lenders plan to sell up to 5.5 billion euros in bad loans by early next year, sources said, as the country's central bank chief called on the creaking banking sector to act faster to tackle its bad-debt problem.

Greek banks are saddled with 103 billion euros in bad loans, equal to almost 60 percent of the economy, after years of financial crisis and crippling recession. The European Central Bank wants that reduced by 38 billion euros by the end of 2019.

Greece's largest lender, Piraeus Bank, as well as peers National Bank (NBG) and Alpha Bank plan to take a major step toward that goal with a record series of sales to be completed by the end of March, the banking sources said.

They are responding to growing regulatory pressure to tackle the bad-debt problem, which restricts banks' ability to expand credit and undermines Greece's...

Continue reading on: