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Bad shipping loans threaten German banks

July 22 - A report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that bad loans in the shipping sector held by German banks pose a concern to the country's overall banking system, ahead of the European Central Bank's upcoming Comprehensive Ass

Major transitions in banking regulations, supervision and resolution frameworks are entering a critical phase, with many European banks having submitted the first drafts of their recovery plans.

While work on the ECB's stress tests are still ongoing, the authorities are confident that German banks on the whole are "well positioned for the exercise". However, it claims "shipping loans could be a source of further impairments" despite significant improvement in the bank's capital ratios over the past several years.

HLPFI reported in April 2014 that Germany's HSH Nordbank, one of the world's leading maritime lenders, reported soaring losses of USD1.13 billion in 2013, up from USD172 million in 2012. It attributed the result to upping its loan provision for its shipping portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2013.

German banks control approximately one third of the global shipping finance market, which was valued at around US475 billion in 2012, according to Moody's Investors Services.

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