ECB looking at case-by-case solutions for soured bank credit

European Central Bank announces interest rate decision in Frankfurt
A logo plate is seen at the entrance to the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

November 7, 2017

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will look for case-by-case solutions to resolve nearly 900 billion euros worth of soured debt weighing down the bloc’s banking sector, ECB supervisory chief Daniele Nouy said on Tuesday.

The ECB has come under fire recently for proposing blanket provisioning rules on new non performing loans and some critics, particularly in Italy, have warned the ECB against setting similar rules for soured debt already on the books.

“For the legacy (NPLs), well, the situation is very diverse, so it has to be only case by case assessment and solutions,” Nouy told a conference. “We are working with all the banks that have too high levels of non performing exposures.”

“They have submitted their own plans to address the issue,” she said. “We challenge those plans to make sure they are ambitious enough and they are credible enough. To be credible, they have to be realistic; they can’t promise us miracles.”

(This version of the story corrects figure in first paragraph to billions from millions)

(Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Writing by Balazs Koranyi; editing by Ralph Boulton)