EU says bad loans a challenge in some countries despite improvements

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday that efforts to reduce risks in the EU banking sector were bearing fruit, but that bad loans remained a challenge in some countries.

The Commission said its report on challenges facing the banking sector had shown that the non-performing loan (NPL) ratio had declined to 3.3% in the third quarter of 2018, down 1.2 percentage points year-on-year.

“Despite clear improvements, high ratios of NPLs do remain a challenge in some member states and deserve continued attention,” the Commission said in a statement.

It added that it called on EU countries and the European Parliament to agree on measures it proposed in a package in March 2018.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop