Ljubljana, 7 January (STA) – The business daily Finance cites three findings from the central bank’s report on the stability of the banking system in Monday’s editorial which it says should be taken into consideration before the debate on the privatisation of Slovenia’s largest two banks becomes totally politicised.

One of the findings for the first ten months of last year is that banks in Slovenia charged an average interest rate of nearly 5% on loans to companies exceeding one million euuros, while the average charged by banks in the euro zone was 2.2%.

Large domestic-owned banks charged 1.2 percentage points higher interest rates on loans to corporations of up to EUR 1m than banks in majority foreign ownership. Only in 2011, the difference was lower, at around 0.7 percentage points.

The third finding from the central bank’s report is that 77% of all unprofitable claims are concentrated with the big domestic banks, which Finance says shows the “quality” of risk management at NLB and NKBM, whose supervisory boards are appointed by the government.

“The three facts are insufficient to make any comprehensive conclusions, but they should not be overlooked when a party leader tries to persuade us how vital it is for the state to keep at least a controlling share in NLB only that we will be able to get a harvester cheaper,” Finance concludes under “Who Gives Us Higher Surcharges?”.