1887

Banks' restructuring and smooth deleveraging of the private sector

Slovenia is facing the legacy of a boom-bust cycle that has been compounded by weak corporate governance of state-owned banks. The levels of non-performing loans and capital adequacy ratios compare poorly in international perspective and may deteriorate further, which could require significant bank recapitalisation. Updated bottom-up (i.e. loan by loan) stress tests are needed to evaluate the extent of the problems, as the situation has deteriorated rapidly since a similar exercise was done for the two main state-owned banks in mid-2012. To foster the credibility of the new tests, the main results and underlying assumptions should be made public. The creation of the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) should allow recognition of problems by ring-fencing impaired assets, which would create conditions for an orderly resolution of non-viable banks and a rapid privatisation of viable banks. To that end, the process of asset transfer and their management has to be transparent and isolated from political influences by ensuring full independence of the BAMC. To achieve smooth deleveraging of the non-financial sector, viable but distressed enterprises should be restructured while insolvent firms should be swiftly liquidated. The main challenge is to improve inefficient insolvency procedures that are too long and result in low recovery rates. Development of equity markets can also facilitate smoother corporate deleveraging by facilitating equity raising through privatisation and entry of foreign investors. Finally, to prevent future crises, banking supervision should be enhanced further.

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