Doubts take 2-bln-euro bite out of bank de­posits

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY EVGENIA TZORTZI

De­posits in Greek banks recorded losses of 2 bil­lion eu­ros in the year to the end of last week, with the de­cline putting an end to the growth regis­tered in the lat­ter half of last year. Cru­cially, if the con­trac­tion con­tin­ues it will un­der­mine any prospects of a grad­u­ally eas­ing of the cap­i­tal con­trols any­time soon.

Ac­cord­ing to data gath­ered by Kathimerini, de­posits at Greek banks added up to 129.8 bil­lion eu­ros on Fe­bru­ary 24, against 131.8 bil­lion at endDe­cem­ber 2016. This con­cerns house­hold, busi­ness and gen­eral govern­ment de­posits at the four sys­temic banks (Al­pha, Na­tional, Eurobank and Pi­raeus) and the three non-sys­temic banks (At­tica, Aegean Baltic Bank and In­vest­ment Bank).

If that to­tal is added to the bal­ance at co­op­er­a­tive lenders, the sum comes to 131.6 bil­lion, down from 133.7 bil­lion at the be­gin­ning of the year, which con­sti­tutes a drop of 2.1 bil­lion eu­ros.

Al­though the lat­est data, for last Fri­day, point to a re­duced out­flow, which had reached 2.7 bil­lion eu­ros in mid-Fe­bru­ary, the trend re­mains quite wor­ry­ing. It is at­trib­uted to wide­spread un­cer­tainty among de­pos­i­tors in Greece, in­clud­ing many who had their money in hold­ings abroad and se­cured the right to re-ex­port their cap­i­tal when they de­posited it in Greece. Ac­cord­ing to Bank of Greece data the in­flow of money from abroad amounted to 5 bil­lion eu­ros last year.

In terms of loans is­sued to house­holds and en­ter­prises, Jan­uary posted a neg­a­tive record in the net monthly credit flow, with pay­ments of older loans out­weigh­ing new is­sues. This amounted to mi­nus 885 mil­lion eu­ros, against a pos­i­tive flow of 124 mil­lion eu­ros in De­cem­ber, Bank of Greece fig­ures show.

This lack of liq­uid­ity pri­mar­ily af­fects Greek busi­nesses, the net flow to which was neg­a­tive by 643 mil­lion eu­ros in Jan­uary, tak­ing the to­tal loan bal­ance to 93.8 bil­lion eu­ros. Credit con­trac­tion in in­dus­try amounted to 2.6 per­cent yearon-year. The net flow to house­holds was neg­a­tive by 221 mil­lion eu­ros, tak­ing the bal­ance of loans to 87.1 bil­lion.

Un­cer­tainty has led many Greek de­pos­i­tors to with­draw cash from banks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.