Troubled Loans Double At Europe’s Banks

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European banks’ non-performing loans have doubled in just four years to reach close to €1.2tn and are expected to keep rising, according to analysis that provides a disquieting backdrop to the region’s forthcoming assessment of lenders’ balance sheets, the Financial Times reported. A report by PwC found that non-performing loans (NPLs) rose from €514bn in 2008 to €1.187tn in 2012, with rises in the most recent year driven by deteriorating conditions in Spain, Ireland, Italy and Greece. It predicted further rises in the years ahead because of the “uncertain economic climate”. Richard Thompson, a partner at PwC, said the “reshaping” of European bank balance sheets had several more years to run as lenders shed troubled and unwanted loans and attempted to strengthen their balance sheets. He estimates European banks are sitting on €2.4tn of non-core loans that they plan to wind down or sell off. The first eight months of 2013 have seen €46bn of European loan portfolio transactions, equal to the entire amount recorded in 2012. Read more. (Subscription required.)