TIRANA, July 30
Whereas the loan that is given for the economy has registered an increase in the last three years, especially that for the businesses, Bank of Albania is drawing up a plan of measures to encourage it. This plan, driven by the duties left from the resolution of the Parliament for the Bank of Albania, aims at the improvement of the amount and quantity, as well as the revival of the process of the credits. This plan of measures, composed by the Bank of Albania, was sent for consultation to the commercial banks in the country and is in line with the other plan of measures, that was undertaken for the decrease of bad credits and restructuring of the credits.
Sources from the Bank of Albania, have affirmed that the plan is still in its first steps and is expected the feedback from the commercial banks, but the key points of the plans are:
1. The increase of the businesses’ accesses in the institutions, for instance in mortgages
2. The measures for the implementation of the collateral (a process which is being worked on for quite a while)
3. The decrease of the informality in the economy, that would affect the growth of loan in commercial banks
Albania is one of the countries with the lowest access in banking services. The credit, in rapport with the GDP, is around 35%, the lowest in the Balkans region. The same low figure the country has registered for the number of banking accounts, ATMs and the use of bank cards. One of the measures of the Bank of Albania is exactly the urge of the citizens to use the banking services, through the educational programs or other promoters.
Another measure is aiming to promote the agreements of sharing the risks of credits from the banks, for instance with the Bank of Albania, international institutions or with the government. Nevertheless, after the opinions from the commercial banks are collected, it will be possible to compose a plan with real measures, that will aim at the encouragement of the credits in the country. Since 2012, the annual growth of the loans in the banks has been slow, unlike the two-digit expansion of previous years.
In 2018, the annual growth of the loans in commercial banks for the first time was negative, but it was affected by the exchange rate, as a result of devaluation of Euro, and the deletion of loans, which have more than three years that have not been paid off, from the banks’ balance sheets. The high number of bad credits was accompanied by the high loan lending in the period 2004-2011, which was one of the factors that held back the banks.
On the other hand, the request for credit is been reported to be low, also the banks are tightening the criteria of loan lending, mainly for businesses, whereas the individuals have resulted to be more reliable in paying off the loan.