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IMF urges Cyprus to hasten NPL restructuring

A team of IMF experts currently in Nicosia to provide advice on matters of financial stability have urged the banks and authorities in Cyprus to hasten the restructuring of non-performing loans.

According to a Central Bank of Cyprus official, the IMF team was called by the Central Bank of Cyprus to offer technical advice in an effort to improve the handling of non-performing loans (NPLs).

The IMF says the Cyprus banking sector will continue to be troubled by NPLs, since the rate of restructuring remains very slow.

In addition, the numbers of restructured loans which become non-performing once more are a cause for concern. Approximately 28% of loans which were restructured by the end of 2015 have become non-performing once more.

The IMF technocrats also pointed to the fact that the country’s banking system has stabilised, however, they stressed the need for more realistic and ambitious strategies for the significant reduction of red loans.

The Central Bank of Cyprus announced last week that the value of non-performing loans in March 2017 reached €23.2 billion.

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