The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that Austria's banks require a "clear" plan on how to strengthen their capital in the medium term.
"It would be advisable to require all major banking groups to present a clear medium-term strategy of capital strengthening, including a gradual repayment of government capital," the Paris-based OECD said in a report on Monday.
Austria's top six banks UniCredit SpA's Bank Austria AG, Erste Group Bank AG, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG, BAWAG P.S.K. Bank, and nationalised Hypo Alpe-Adria International AG are among the largest lenders in eastern Europe.
The country's banks have lower ratios than rivals in eastern Europe and should use higher earnings to bolster capital, Austria's central bank said last month.
The country's lenders "continue to have a below-average capital adequacy," the OECD said in the report.
"The total size of newly required capital due to Basel III and the repayment of government support is estimated at between €15 billion (Dh78.4 billion) and €18 billion considering a period until 2020."
"Raising new capital might be difficult, however, given the importance of the multi-tier decentralised sector in Austrian banking," according to the report.
"Weak local equity market performance may also pose a problem, given an increased risk-aversion among international investors, the introduction of the bank tax and a strong competition for equity capital among European banks."
While growth at the banks is "primarily driven by the recovery of central and eastern European economies," profitability "remains well below its pre-crisis level," the OECD said in the report, adding that "not all losses, particularly on foreign exchange lending, seem to have been recognised by foreign subsidiaries and loan-loss provisions are expected to increase further."
From / Gulf News