The share of NPLs in total loans continues to decrease in all segments, amounting to around 11% at the end of December 2017, less than a half of the share of 26% from several years ago, which was a great burden on the banking sector, Dr Veroljub Dugalić, Secretary General of the Association of Serbian Banks (ASB), stated on January 11, 2018.
– The share of NPLs is 6.4% for the retail segment and 13.8% for legal entities – Dugalic said at the press conference at the ASB.
As he points out, the measures of the National Bank of Serbia and the adoption of the National Strategy of the Government, as well as a range of activities carried out by banks, have contributed to this.
– The result is that the share of NPLs has decreased, which provides bigger possibilities for crediting clients. This also has a good impact on the financial results of banks and creates a bigger credit potential for banks to loan more – Dugalic said.
He reminded that a dramatic fall of interest rates in all types of loans had been registered and denied the possibility of them increasing.
Commenting on the crediting activity in 2017, Dugalic said that corporate loans had grown by 4-5%, a symbolic growth, according to him, compared to 2007, 2008 and 2009, when the growth amounted to around 50%.
Such data, he adds, are not encouraging, because, if companies do not take loans from banks, investments, employment and GDP growth cannot be expected.
The sector of retail loans is slightly better, with a growth of around 9+%. Repayment regularity is also positive.
At the end of 2017, 11.1% legal persons and 4.6% citizens were late with their repayments, a considerable improvement of repayment regularity and a good indicator – Dugalic said.
He added that there had also been an improvement in the regularity of repayments related to current accounts and credit cards.
European Money Quiz
This press conference also presented an opportunity for Sladjana Sredojevic, Special Advisor for International Cooperation, Financial Markets and Education and Head of the Bank Training Center, to announce a new project called “The European Money Quiz”, which the Association of Serbian Banks is implementing in cooperation with the European Banking Federation from Brussels and the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.
The aim of the project is financial education of current and future users of financial services, and, as she explained, the “European Money Quiz” is organized for the first time as a contest with over a thousand participants of 13 to 15 years of age from 30 European countries.
– The contest will be carried out in two phases. The first phase are national contests, in which classes or their representatives compete in the field of finance knowledge through an online quiz, using the free Kahoot! Platform – Sredojevic announced.
The national contest for participants from Serbia is scheduled for March 16, at 10:30 am, and two students from the winning class will be invited to the international final, to take place in Brussels on May 8, 2018.