Slovenská sporiteľňa, Slovakia’s largest bank by assets, posted an almost 25% drop in net profit to €163.9m in 2017. Excluding one-off items (selling a stake in Visa in 2016), the profit was slightly lower annually. Client deposits rose 10% to €12.5bn, and loans rose 14% to €11.7bn. Peter Krutil, the bank’s new CEO, points out the 52% total tax burden (income tax, bank and resolution fund levies) the state imposes on banks. He expects a gradual increase in the costs of mortgages once the ECB starts raising interest rates in 2019. Given the fast growth in household debt in recent years, he understands the NBS’s measures to curb loan growth. The debt amnesty being prepared by the government is a moral hazard, and Krutil would prefer greater use of personal bankruptcies. SLSP is not considering acquisitions, partly because of the high prices sellers demand.