“Our banks’ health indicates a new beginning for real economy’s financing”
On the occasion of the announcement of the stress tests results, which were carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB), the Chairman of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Mr. Theodore Fessas, made the following statement:
“With the announcement of the European Central Bank’s audit results regarding Greek banks’ capital requirements in extreme situations, a critical stage with regard to our banking system’s financial health has positively come to a close. This very day, on the eve of their inclusion in the European Banking Union and their supervision by the European Central Bank, the Greek banks can now leave behind the appaling effects of the economic crisis and pursue a sustainable path towards economic recovery and restoration, in order to assume a key role in financing the real economy.
However, this much desired market liquidity will not emerge unless additional interventions are implemented, which require collective management, realism and decisiveness, such as:
Lending interest rates reduction for sustainable and healthy enterprises, particularly for those serving their financial obligations regularly and without constant financial adjustements. SEV intends to proceed to discourse with Banks Administrations as well as with the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), so that a common principles framework will be provided, which will aim to de-escalate lending rates gradually and selectively and to resume financing of the Greek economy.
Effective management of Non Performing Loans (NPLs), which consitutes the greatest challenge as well as the greatest risk not only for the banking system, but also for Greece's growth prospects.
SEV is present with the aim to jointly configure a comprehensive principles and NPLs management framework, within the context of discussions with the Greek Government and with the Greek banks, by taking into consideration international experience and practice.
Reassessment of official funding programs for the Greek economy coming from EU and national resources (NSRF 2014-2020, European Investment Fund, TANEO, European Investment Bank, Development Bank, etc.). A systematic dialogue with the Greek State and with the Greek enterprises is required in order to reassess objectives, priorities as well as management effectiveness with regard to available resources. It is not be permitted to waste precious capital funds for minor, local and corporatist projects, which serve political favoritism purposes and deliver marginal economic and social efficiency.
Improvement of the domestic capital market environment. It is essential to investigate the possibility to simplify the process with which bonds are issued by medium-sized enterprises or to channel new NSRF (2014-2020) resources as guarantees to enterprises. Furthermore it is imperative that the institutional framework is updated and that non-banking financing is authorized for enterprises, namely by insurance companies, funds etc.
We believe that today’s positive development represents the imperative starting point for implementing an integrated framework, comprised of intervention measures and intended to finance the real economy and the exit from recession. In this effort, SEV will be present and disposed to undertake initiatives in cooperation with competent stakeholders, while bearing responsibilty and respect to all stakeholders' institutional roles.”