Non-performing loans – 11.4% at the end of February
The level of non-performing loans was stable for the month of February. According to the Bank of Albania, this indicator was 11.4%, from 11.3% in January. Despite a slight increase since the end of last year, the ratio of non-performing loans remained close to the lowest levels in nearly a decade. Banks’ efforts in recent years have led this indicator to more acceptable levels.
Exit from the balance of lost loans has given the main impact, coupled with even more attention to the new lending. According to bankers, the situation is more manageable and problem loans are no longer a major factor in curbing lending to the economy. However, the Bank of Albania has emphasized the need for new measures that would ultimately normalize the ratio of non-performing loans to low single digits.
Banks are encouraged for a more efficient use of credit restructuring, which in fact last year were used more and with better results. However, an essential factor, which has not provided the expected contribution to reducing the ratio of non-performing loans, is the growth of the new loan. An increase in the loan portfolio will reduce the specific weight of bad credit in the balance sheet. Last year lending appeared sluggish, but in the first months of this year the figures are more encouraging. For the first two months of the year, the loan portfolio increased by ALL 9 billion or EUR 72 million.