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Association of Banks – Looking forward to the meeting with MIN

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Aim to resolve questions regarding the measures implemented by banks for borrowers, following the continuous interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank

Σύνδεσμος Τραπ εζoν - Προσβλeπει στη συνàντηση μ&epsilon ; ΥΠΟΙΚ

The Banks Association is looking forward to the meeting with the Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos to resolve questions regarding the measures implemented by the banks for the borrowers, after the continuous interest rate increases by the European Central Bank, according to what Andreas Kostouris, the Communication Manager of the Association, told the KYPE.

“We are looking forward to the meeting with the Minister of Finance and we are sure that we will solve the shadows or questions that exist in relation to the measures that have been implemented by the banks, at the instigation of the Minister himself, during the previous months and in continuation of the previous meeting we had with him, last April”, said Mr. Kostouris, invited by the KYPE to comment on the statement of the Minister of Finance that he is not satisfied with the position of the banks in relation to the level of lending rates.

The Finance Minister made this statement during his appearance on Tuesday at the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism, which discussed the “need to take protective measures for consumers from the recent increase , as well as the possibility of a further increase in lending rates regarding non-performing loans (NPLs) and the inability of borrowers to meet increased installments”.

Mr. Kostouris said that the Association always has a constructive, meaningful and productive discussion with the Minister, whether in person or in other ways, and he expressed confidence that “this time too the meeting we have with him will be like that”.

“At the meeting with the Minister we will find the common denominator and we will see where his political position stands”, he added.

Furthermore, the Banking Association's Communications Officer said that when explained in further detail what the banks have done on the matter, “what is the extent of it, who does it concern and what is the economic impact will be, we believe, more satisfied than disappointed without this meaning that he will not ask for something on his part”.

Asked if the meeting had been set, Mr Kostouris said a date was being considered when the two sides would have no other scheduled commitments “so that a meeting could take place as soon as possible and within the next few days”.

Regarding the continuous increase in lending rates, Mr. Kostouris said that moves were made by the banks “before the measures” of the banks were announced and indicative, as he said, are the data he gave to the Commerce Committee of the Parliament the Governor of the Central Bank in relation to the increase in loan renegotiations and restructurings.

“We are in regular communication with the customer, when something goes wrong, to find a solution that will get him out of the difficult situation”, he added.

He also referred to the package of measures worth about 10 million euros taken out by each bank that holds a portfolio of loans with variable interest rates that are affected by the rise in interest rates, and added that the package includes either immediate refunds of amounts that a bank will make, or debt relief for a specific period of time or a combination of the two.

“We recognize that it is a situation that creates pressure on the economy and that is why the banks are looking at the data that exists together with the borrowers” , he added.

Asked to comment on the possibility of imposing extraordinary taxation on banks' excess profits, Mr. Kostouris told KYPE that “banks pay a series of taxes and their increased profits also result in increased revenues for the state itself” and gave as an example that the 10 profits of banks is X amount of tax for the state, 100 profits is 10X amount of tax.

He also said that there is also a special tax (0.15%) on deposits that they pay the banks in relation to the amount of deposits they hold and which exist for more than 10 years.

Mr. Kostouris said that “the Association's long-standing position is that there should not have been this special tax” and added that “this tax exists even in the years of losses (of the banks) and in the years of high Non-Performing Loans and in the years when the banks had to increase their capital adequacy”.

< p class="text-paragraph">“Therefore, we believe that the possibility of a new special extraordinary tax this year and following monetary policy decisions and not bank policy to increase their interest rates is both inappropriate and unfair,” he concluded.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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