New ECB guidelines on NPLs: impacts on risk management

Banks will need to define a roadmap of actions, with the development of a Credit Information Framework as its first pillar, aimed at developing the industrial management of non-performing loans (NPLs).

The ECB guidelines on NPLs, with the final version published on January 30, 2017, define the methods of managing NPLs, touching on all the strategic, management, process and governance aspects, as well as classification and assessment.

These guidelines are directly applicable to “significant institutions”, and are non-binding recommendations for less significant banks (even though any deviations should be explained and justified). It is clear that over the coming months banks will have to face and deal with a thorough review of the criteria and methods of managing NPLs, reviewing and optimizing the relevant resources, processes and tools.

Looking in more detail, the ECB document deals with 4 fundamental aspects of NPL management:

  • Bank's strategy
  • Process governance
  • Credit classification
  • Real estate collateral

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