Permanent TSB hints at further transactions to deal with bad loans

Permanent TSB (PTSB) chief executive Jeremy Masding has hinted that the bank may look at further sales of non-performing loans.

Speaking after the bank's agm, Mr Masding said more will be needed to be done to further reduce the level of problem loans on PTSB's books.

He did not clarify if further transactions would involve out-and-out sales of bad loans or securitisation deals.

Currently around 10% of PTSB's loans are non-performing, against a European average of approximately 3.5%.

Mr Masding said the scale of any potential future loan sale would not be as large as last year, when PTSB sold off nearly 17,000 loans in two controversial transactions.

He also said that the bank is "trying really hard" to make its 'mortgage-to-rent' scheme, which is aimed at keeping distressed mortgage borrowers in their homes, to work.

"We have to consider further transactions, but there's nothing planned or in the pipleline. But, we've got to get the ratio down to make the bank safer. I wouldn't rule anything in and I wouldn't rule anything out and I have no specific timings, but the scale [of any further sale] wouldn't be as large as last year," Mr Masding said.

"We have to make sure that the bank's balance sheet is safe for the next economic cycle, which I would suspect is nearer than far away," he said.

Meanwhile, PTSB's chief financial officer Eamonn Crowley said of the 900 repossessed homes still on the bank's books, that 200 are now on the market, while a further 350 are being prepared for market.

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