Banks work to shed non-performing loans

MNB

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In the last five years the ratio of banksʼ non-performing loans (NPLs) — those past 90 days due — compared to their gross lending stock has steadily fallen from a peak of 14.1% at the end of 2013 to 6.4% by the end of 2016, data released by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) show, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The gross lending stock stood at HUF 18.957 trillion at the end of 2012, when the share of NPLs was at 13.7%, and stood at HUF 17.841 tln at the end of 2016.

The NPL ratio rose by the end of 2013, but has fallen since then, to 13.2% at the end of 2014, then to 10.6% at the end of 2015, to reach 6.4% at the end of last year.

In 2012 the stock of non-performing loans of non-financial corporations was HUF 1.247 tln, and the stock of retail loans was HUF 1.167 tln.

While the stock of non-performing corporate loans diminished in each year during the period, the stock of non-performing retail loans increased from 2012 through 2014, before also starting to fall.

The corporate NPL stock was down at HUF 1.094 tln by the end of 2013. A less significant drop lowered it to HUF 933 billion by the end of 2014, before it decreased further to HUF 568 bln and HUF 320 bln in the next two years, respectively.

In contrast the amount of non-performing retail loans climbed as high as HUF 1.276 tln at the end of 2014, before falling to HUF 1.037 tln a year later, and to HUF 725 bln at the end of last year.

The MNBʼs Funding for Growth Scheme (FGS), launched in 2013, most likely played a part in lowering the corporate NPL stock before the retail NPL stock, as the MNB offered refinancing for commercial bank loans to microbusinesses and SMEs, as well as conversions of FX-denominated SME loans into Hungarian forints.

Retail clients received major relief in 2014 when the Hungarian Parliament approved a law on the conversion of retail mortgages denominated in foreign currency to forints. 

This resulted in a sharp drop in the FX-denominated retail NPL  stock from HUF 835 bln at the end of 2014 to a mere HUF 20.5 bln at the end of 2015.

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