Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today called the representatives of the Hellenic Bank Association to withdraw the increases announced in a series of banking transactions, stressing the fact that the government had proceeded to the implementation of numerous decisions in order to facilitate them.
In a meeting he held with the representatives, according to Maximos Mansion sources, the prime minister said: “You have announced a series of increases. We cannot accept that. It is an extremely negative development. Increases are not justified, even if they occur in a much better economic environment. We have to stay in the previous context”. From the bank representatives’ side, it was said that “the aim is to increase the electronic transactions in which the banks have invested heavily”. However, they promised to review the increases, especially the charges in areas where there is only one ATM.
During the meeting, which took place amidst a productive climate, much focus was put on “the positive influence on the economy and the banks the new environment has had, which was created after the July 7 elections with the new economic policy framework, the sharp decline in Greek bond yields, the lifting of capital controls and the revitalization of the real estate market”.
On the issue of “red” loans, it was stressed that the “Hercules” project is an important step towards achieving the target of the loans being reduced to a one digit by 2022, which will significantly improve the banks’ balance sheets and enable the Greek economy to be financed.
During the meeting, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras pointed out that the Government is implementing a comprehensive strategy for managing private debt. Next week, the Finance Minister will discuss with the institutions the roadmap for unifying the current mechanisms and tools that are in force today, so that by 2020 Greece will have a single and coherent private debt management framework for businesses and individuals. It was in this context the existing mechanism for the protection of primary residence was discussed, which lately received a revamp in order to “save the homes of those who really need it and not of the strategic non-payers”, he mentioned during the meeting. Both sides emphasized on the need for better information so that more citizens can proceed to a regulation.
The discussion also revolved around questions regarding the banks’ access to cheaper financing and the way in which the government can help with that, alongside the need to lend to green economy programs.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank Association George Handjinicolaou thanked the Prime Minister and the rest of the ministers for their co-operation during this quarter, and expressed confidence that this collaboration would continue to the same extent for the benefit of the Greek economy.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras, the Minister of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiades, the Minister of State George Gerapetritis, the Deputy Minister of Finance in charge of the financial system George Zavvos, the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of the Coordination of the Government Project, Akis Skertsos, the Secretary-General for Economic and Development Policy Coordination Vicky Loizou, the Secretary-General for Coordination of Internal Affairs, Thanasis Kontogeorgis, Secretary General of Private Debt Management Fotis Kourmousis, as well as by the head of the Prime Minister’s Financial Office Alexis Patelis.
On behalf of the Hellenic Bank Association, the meeting was attended by Chairman of the Board of Directors George Handjinicolaou, Piraeus Bank Chief Executive Christos Megalou, National Bank Chief Executive Pavlos Mylonas, Alpha Bank Chief Executive Vasilis Psaltis, Eurobank Chief Executive Fokion Karavias, Attica Bank Chief Executive Theodoros Pantalakis and Secretary General of the Hellenic Banking Association Haroula Apalagaki. /ibna