“The government proves to be unable to exercise any supervisory or control role in the operation of the banking system, while it has no strategy to reduce bank fees, despite the recent decision of the Competition Commission,” said the parliamentarian representative of PASOK, Mr. Michalis Katrinisafter the discussion of his relevant topical question in the Parliament.

The PASOK MP referred to the surplus income of the banks that comes only from the increase in interest rates and commissions, highlighting the government’s refusal to discuss the possibility of taxing the surplus profits that objectively arise, since the 60% increased interest income does not come from the granting more loans, but from increasing the interest rate of the existing ones.

Mr. Katrinis highlighted the large difference in the margin between lending and deposit rates in Greece, which results in businesses and households borrowing much more expensively than the Eurozone average, while deposit rates remain very low, with banks essentially to profit, stressing that possible anti-competitive practice should also be checked, since the banks apply this practice by controlling 97% of the market.

The PASOK parliamentary representative criticized the choice of the banks to distribute a dividend in 2024, while 50% of their capital adequacy (CET1) is based on the deferred tax claim and their profits arise due to their distorted – for the development of the Greek economy – operation .

At the same time, he referred to the reduction of credit expansion in 2023 and the exclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises from access to financing, pointing out that in a total of 20,575 investment projects that have been submitted to the Recovery Fund, 50% of the loan component has already been absorbed by only 248 investment projects , with 53% of funding going to very large companies (with over 250 employees) rather than true SMEs.

“Over 90% of businesses in Greece have been excluded from bank financing of any kind and the government is not doing anything essential to channel low-interest liquidity to small and medium-sized businesses,” said Mr. Katrinis.

Regarding the fees and bank commissions that burden the citizens, the Ilios MP referred to the decision of the Competition Commission and the fine of 41.7 million euros imposed on the banks for a single type of commission, while he asked the government to examine the other commissions imposed by banks, in the direction of reducing costs for the benefit of consumers.

“The government has left the banks unchecked to give loans wherever they want and to insist on abusive charges, while the prime minister himself simply made findings about the reduction of credit expansion and the high lending rate. The government is unable to protect consumers and is indifferent to small and medium-sized businesses, choosing the role of observer” noted Mr. Katrinis, requesting the intervention of the Competition Commission and the expansion of businesses that will have access to bank loans and the Recovery Fund.