The atmosphere between the Ministry of Finance and the banks remains “heavy”, after yesterday’s fruitless meeting between the two sides. After the launching of “accusations” on both sides, through leaks, for the fact of the non-agreement on the support of vulnerable borrowers, at a time of rising interest rates and continued inflation, the ministry…struck again.

In particular, circles of the Ministry of Finance published a list of banking transactions, which burden Greek society, through high commissions, continuing the conflict that has erupted – during the last 15 days – between the two sides. This specific move seems to further dynamize the climate in view of the new meeting, which is expected to take place in 2 weeks from today.

As it seems, the political leadership of the Ministry of Finance has decided to come into conflict with the bankers, in a critical period – socially, economically and also politically in view of the elections.

The list of onerous transactions

According to a circular from the Ministry of Finance, the banking transactions with commissions that significantly burden Greek society are the following:

1. Supply of incoming remittance.

2. Outgoing remittance fee (fee for transferring money from one bank account to another domestic bank account).

3. Provision of sending money (remittance) to banks outside the Eurozone.

4. Cash withdrawal fee from another bank’s ATM.

5. Credit card subscription.

6. Debit/credit card reissue fee due to expiry and due to theft, loss or damage.

7. Commission for payment of bills (utilities, mobile phone, etc.).

8. Provision of issuing copies of statements of accounts/loans/credit cards.

9. Loan Application Evaluation Fees.

10. Expenses of legal and technical review of loan requests.

11. Credit card transaction fees abroad (charge for converting foreign transactions into euros).

12. Provision for the purchase of Greek government securities.

Waiting for the proposal

As it emerged after yesterday’s meeting, the scenario for a new “Bridge” program, requested by the banks for state subsidy in loan installments, was rejected by the political leadership of the Ministry of Finance, which insists that there should be support for vulnerable borrowers against the large increases in interest rates, without costing the state budget budget. That is why he asked the bankers to prepare a proposal with zero fiscal costs, which they will present to Minister Christos Staikouras in 2 weeks.

At the same time, yesterday’s announcement by the Ministry of Finance states that the banks were asked to submit proposals “in order to increase the approvability of the requests of the out-of-court mechanism concerning their informed borrowers”.

Furthermore, it is added that “the ministry reported that the Government made it clear to the managements of the banks that, for it, there is no question of paying bonuses to high-ranking bank executives for 2022”. However, the government is not averse to giving a dividend to shareholders at the end of 2022.

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