Ljubljana, 7 January (STA) – Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič revealed that foreign experts were being wooed for the job of supervisors and advisers in the transfer of bad loans onto a bad bank in an interview with the daily Delo on Monday.

Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič comments on preparations for the stablishment of a bad bank for the daily Delo – photo source: STA

No one in the government would dare appoint to the bad bank people who are not competent for such a job, Šušteršič said in the interview.

He said the government was in talks with some people who made their name abroad, some of them foreigners who have already been involved in bad banks, to assume the role of supervisors or experts in the transfer of bank claims. “This would vitally reduce the influence of politics,” he said.

The amount of bad claims to be transferred to the bad bank will be known once programmes are made for all banks. A decision will have to be be made which class of claims to transfer, and the right price calculated, Šušteršič said.

But he was confident that the state guarantee in the amount of EUR 4bn was comfortable enough not to require any upgrade in the figure, “that is if we carry out the project soon enough” considering the number of claims was rising each month.

He would like private investors to invest in the bad bank like is the case in Spain, although he was quick to note that it would be overly optimistic to expect that in the current situation. “The state will have to assume the burden and then get its contribution back by selling wisely.”

Šušteršič also commented on the selection of candidates for central bank governor as incumbent Marko Kranjec’s six-year term ends in July and does not intend to seek re-appointment in parliament.

He said Slovenia needed a governor unburdened with “stories from the past as some now operate in an overly self-protective manner and with excuses, while others are too aggressive about coming to terms with the past”.

The candidate should have the right expertise to be able to provide strict and credible oversight of the banking system and to give Banka Slovenije new dynamics. The candidate may be “imported” from abroad, but he or she must be a Slovenian, the minister explained.

Slovenian-born Fed economist Egon Zakrajšek has recently confirmed for the public broadcaster that he had been contacted over the possibility of taking over the job, but although “honoured” he rejected the invitation.

Other potential candidates mentioned in the RTV Slovenija report were economist Mojmir Mrak and Boštjan Jazbec, a former member of the governing board of the Slovenian central bank who is now an IMF resident advisor to the Bank of Kosovo.