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Attica Bank Under Investigation for Scandalous Loans

trapeza-attikis-1000The Bank of Greece is about to place Attica Bank under supervision after the exposure of numerous suspicious loans and losses, involving a tenderer of the recent television licensing auction.
Specifically, the bank has given 2.2 billion euros in loans, an amount much higher than the bank’s portfolio could sustain. Furthermore, funds that have been given for the bank’s recapitalization by various organizations, have mysteriously evaporated.
According to a Kathimerini newspaper report, an audit by the Bank of Greece and the Single Supervisory Mechanism showed that since December 31, 2014, Attica Bank had 1.2 billion euros in deposit outflows. Yet, at the same time the bank was giving out loans over 400 million euros. Yet, over 60 percent of its loans are in arrears.
Specifically, during the six months of negotiations between Greece and creditors (February-July 2015) for the bailout program, the bank gave out 250 million euros in loans. The loans were given to specific groups of companies, the amounts ranging from 10 to 40 million euros. It should be noted that during that period of uncertainty, Greek banks had stopped giving loans to companies and individuals.
During the first quarter of 2016, bank deposits dropped by 130 million euros. Nevertheless, the bank gave out 76 million euros in loans to specific groups of companies. Yet the new loans showed a high rate of delays in repayment. While at the end of 2014, 44.8 percent of loans were in arrears, at the end of 2015 they shot up to 56 percent.
The picture of non performing loans got even worse in 2016, when out of 4 billion euros in loans, 2.2. billion euros are in the red. The Bank of Greece intervened and asked the bank that loans over 100,000 must have the approval of the central bank.
Government-friendly constructor received suspicious loans from Attica Bank
Christos Kalogritsas, one of the four tenderers who received a television license in the recent controversial auction, has received a total of 127,600,000 euros in loans from Attica Bank since 2011.
Specifically, Kalogritsas’ group of companies had received 50 million euros between 2011 and 2014, while he received 55 million in 2015 and 22.6 million euros in 2016. It should be noted that the businessman had brought a letter of credit for 3 million euros from Attica Bank when he signed up for the tender.
Kalogritsas’ construction company has received the bulk of public road works since the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition came to power. He is close friends with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, and his son, Yiannis Kalogritsas, is close friends with Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis.
Since January 2015, the two men and Christos Kalogritsas’ two daughters are under investigation by authorities for tax evasion and money laundering. Christos Kalogritsas for 20 million euros, Yiannis Kalogritsas for 4 million, and the two daughters for 6 and 3 million euros respectively.

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