Business News

Bank Write-Downs Dropping but Still Significant

Ljubljana, 29 October (STA) - The profitability of the Slovenian banking system is improving and write-downs of non-performing loans are contracting though they remain high, according to the latest data released by the central bank.

Banks generated over EUR 126m in profit after tax in January-August, compared to a loss of EUR 375.9m in the same period last year.

Write-downs dropped 60% year-on-year, but they still amounted to EUR 283.6m, according to the central bank's monthly report on the state of the sector.

Net interest revenue, a key benchmark of bank performance, rose 11% to almost EUR 560m, whereas non-interest revenue improved by a fifth to EUR 309m.

Operating costs meanwhile dropped almost 5% to slightly over EUR 447m as banks continue to consolidate operations, including with layoffs.

Banks' total assets were down at EUR 39.7bn at the end of August, down from EUR 40.3bn at the end of last year.

The figures indicate that banks are returning to profitability but remain reluctant to lend, which is seen as a major obstacle to kick-starting economic growth.

The report thus shows that loans to the non-banking contracted a full 21% year-on-year in August, with corporate loans down nearly a third.

On the other hand, deposits have been rising and hit EUR 33.81bn, up 3.1% over the month before, though still down 8% year-on-year.

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