While Italian banks holding €360 billion of bad loans may soon become a problem for the eurozone, financial institutions in Lithuania are not as exposed to bad loans, representatives of the biggest banks in Lithuania claim.

Swedbank chief economist Nerijus Mačiulis assures that while in Italy bad loans account for nearly one fifth of the total loan portfolio, in Lithuanian banks bad loans accounted for only 5.3% of the total household and corporate loan portfolio in the first quarter of 2016. Loans are called bad when instalments are late more than 60 days.

“Additionally, this ratio has been steadily declining since 2011 - the loan portfolio quality is improving. The Italian banks' loan portfolio quality is what it was in Lithuania in 2009,” explains Mačiulis.

DNB bank head of communication Valdas Lopeta says that late payments affect only 1% the bank's household loans.

SEB Bank vice president Jonas Iržikevičius also notes the decreasing share of bad loan in the past three years.

He says: “Loan portfolio quality is particularly related to the country's economic cycle. The fact that Lithuanian economy is growing despite the slowdown observed last year has a positive impact on the loan portfolio.”

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