EBRD representative, Peter Sanfey, said that solution of the problem of the ones who took residential loans in Swiss francs does not have to include intervention of the National Bank of Serbia or other public institutions.
Problem in Serbia is, as he said, much smaller than in some countries from the region.
The stake of the loan in Swiss francs, he added, in Serbia, last year totaled less than 14%.
Sanfey, who is deputy of the head at the Office of the Chief Economist at EBRD, estimated in his statement for Tanjug that Serbia should, if possible, avoid solution of neighboring countries such as Croatia or Hungary and underlined that all options must be carefully considered.
- It would be the best if banks agree with clients on overcoming difficulties and come to the solution. If you impose the exchange rate at the level where it was before franc would increase in value, as Croatians are planning, which could disturb financial stability because capital reserves of banks would decrease – Sanfey said.
He said that in the search for solution, entire situation and impact of the move on the banks must be considered as well.
He added that it is about very complicated issue, since “it is not fair that some indebted citizens who have been paying for a long time significantly lower interest rates, are now helped while the others cannot expect similar help", i.e. that the ones who took loan in Swiss francs get support and the ones who did it in euros, no.
- It is also a fact that earlier, governors of central banks warned at loans in francs. It goes both for loans in other foreign currencies, especially if they pa in domestic currency. It leads to the fact that citizens who have loans in foreign currency are very sensitive when it comes to exchange rate fluctuation – Sanfey says.
When asked whether there is danger that sudden leap of Swiss franc pushes non-payable loans stake increase (NPL), he says that some of the loans can become problematic because monthly installments increased.
- I believe there is pressure on the NPL stake increase. Current stake of bad loans is already high and must be solved somehow. It is important that bans try to decrease their stake, either through selling them or writing them off – a collocutor of Tanjug said.
The Association of banking clients, Efektiva, organized on Saturday, January 31, 2015, protest in the center of Belgrade. They submitted a list of requests to NBS and the Ministry of Finance and one of the requests os system solution for loans in francs which states that monthly installments and principal amount would be reduced to real level. More than 500 clients of more banks attended the protest and they protested for the problem with interest rates, different exchange rates and especially for repayment of loan in Swiss francs, Blic reports.