Greece’s National Bank recently reported impressive profits despite the worldwide economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic this year.
The National Bank Group announced that its after-tax profits totaled 457 million euros in the first half of 2020, up from 239 million in the same period last year, excluding the 90-million euro cost of a voluntary retirement program and other pension-related and restructuring costs, which amounted to 27 million euros.
Pavlos Mylonas, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, commenting on the results, stated “Covid-19 continues to dictate the economy’s movements. The enforcement of restrictive measures and heightened uncertainty led to an unprecedented drop in economic activity in 2Q20.
“However, with the gradual opening up of the economy with a lag in the important tourism sector, and increasing fiscal and liquidity stimuli, activity in specific sectors showed clear signs of a recovery in June and July.
“In this extraordinary environment, our role in supporting our clients and the Greek economy is more critical than ever. To this end, we have implemented targeted payment moratoria measures and Government support schemes.”
Mylonas went on to state that the institution had granted moratoriums on repayments of some loans, amounting to approximately 3.5 billion euros.
He added that the National Bank group had also disbursed new loans totaling 2.8 billion euros, in conjunction with the Greek Government’s programs. He added that “more than 2.0 billion euros of additional disbursements are currently in the pipeline for the second half of the year.”
The CEO noted that “The core operating performance of the Group has been resilient during a very difficult environment. Core Operating Profit rose by 21% annually to 132 million euros for the first quarter of 2020.”
Μylonas concluded by saying “In this critical period and as the economy recovers, we will continue to capitalize on our established and successful Transformation Program. Building on the existing momentum, the shift to digital will be accelerated, as will the implementation of a more agile operating model so as to improve the Bank’s efficiency.
“I am proud of our achievements during the turbulent first half of the year; keeping our people safe, supporting our clients and the economy, thus fulfilling our historical role.”