As official and private sector parties grapple with a specific formula to adapt the 2009 Vienna Initiative’s voluntary bar on bank cross-border “disorderly unwinding,” separate working groups have reported on NPL and Basel III-related complications still frustrating Emerging Europe operating and resolution frameworks. The bad loan average tops 10 percent, which is probably understated due to missing data and low estimates, and is worst in the Southeast and Hungary with its additional Swiss franc mortgage load. Payments have been adjusted without interest capitalization, and portfolio sale and collection outsourcing are infrequent. A half-dozen countries have revamped business and household bankruptcy procedures and introduced out-of-court settlement, but they are the exception. Collateral enforcement is cumbersome and lengthy, personal insolvency is unrecognized, loss provisions are not tax-deductible, prudential loan classification is suspect, and distressed-asset markets are lacking, according to regional experts. Banks hesitate to take action on their own fearing competitive ramifications, and confidentiality and secrecy custom and practice inhibit progress. The BIS standards will go into EU capital adequacy and liquidity directives that for Central and Eastern members must accommodate high foreign ownership stakes, shorter-term wholesale liabilities, and less-advanced money and bond markets. Tier-one equity is typically good with limited hybrid resort, and minority interests when consolidated at the group level increase the capital cushion. The analysis suggests foreign currency risk be explicitly included in set-asides, and that the small-firm impact of ratios must be weighed as an overriding factor. Liquid assets should be broadly defined, and parallel macro-prudential measures harmonized between home and host jurisdictions. The new European Banking Agency should assume a lead technical role, and the so-called counter-cyclical buffer could be modified in light of emerging market member differences. The supervisor “colleges” should be regularly convened under its auspices for information-sharing and rule alignment, the paper advises.
The research points out the difficulties’ lingering toll on economic growth, which is anemic outside “overheating” Turkey. There Citibank is shedding ownership in giant Akbank, a main exchange listing, to meet post-rescue US Federal Reserve demands. In Hungary, Austrian parents continue to report network shrinkage and losses, although Raffeisen spurns talk of the need for a capital increase with overall pre-tax profit. In their outlying realms headquarters executives have tried to convince investors the situation has bottomed, especially when compared to Spain’s severe periphery case, where the government may again inject cash to salvage the property-stuffed cajas. Russian state banks in turn may be on the acquisition march westwards toward troubled pockets after earlier buying their own Vienna outpost in the wake of a record $7 billion sovereign Eurobond placement. 1000 investors participated with a 30-year tranche available for an extended pan-European bet.