By E. Sakellari
The Olympus-sized "mountain" of "bad debt" burdening Greek banks' ledgers dominated talks on Wednesday in Athens between institutional creditors' top auditors and credit institutions' representatives, as the former returned to Greece for the first time since the third bailout was officially concluded last month.
According to reports, Greek bankers downplayed creditors' concerns over possible divergences from targets to reduce non-performing exposures (NPEs), claiming that in certain cases, this year, targets have already been exceeded.
The Greek side also said a revision of targets up until 2021 will come this month, in consultation with the creditors' experts.
Creditors have repeatedly and loudly called for the Greek government, the central bank in the country and especially the four systemic banks to reduce NPEs and non-performing loans (NPLs)
Other issues reportedly discussed were e-auctions in the country of bank-foreclosed assets, the legal framework offering a degree of protection of an individual's primary residence from the mortgage-holder and an out-of-court settlement process.
Representatives of Greek banks called for a change in the law governing the appointment of board of directors and CEOs, requesting that the institutional framework be harmonized with the regime enjoyed by credit institutions in other EU countries.
Currently, Greek citizens serving as board members of Greek banks must have 10 years of relevant professional experience in the sector, but only three years if they are foreign nationals. The specific legal framework was the product of the third memorandum agreed to between the Tsipras government and creditors in 2015.
According to reports, the auditors did not reply to the request, apparently waiting to broach the subject with the government's ministers.