Bloomberg reported yesterday that Irish banks are set to face mounting pressure from regulators to write off bad loans, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The report states that regulators are beginning to lose patience with some lenders, meaning more urgent solutions may be sought unless convincing plans are laid out, according to the person, who asked not to be named as the deliberations are private.
Bad loans remain a 900 billion-euro burden on Europe’s banking sector and a millstone harming economic growth. They remain concentrated unevenly among countries, with Ireland still among the worst affected. In Spain, Banco Popular Espanol SA collapsed this year under a mountain of bad property debt and was sold for 1 euro in a European-brokered fire sale.
While Irish bad loans have fallen about 65% since peaking in 2013, they still amount to about 18% of total loans, European Central Bank figures show.
In March, the ECB said that a reduction in non-performing loans is a key priority of the single supervisory mechanism this year, and some banks had to drop their “wait-and-see” approach. Failure to deal with non-performing loans could prompt regulators to make it harder for banks to pay dividends, according to a source in the report.