Cyprus bank deposits up for first time since December 2012

Bank deposits in Cyprus rose last month for the first time since December 2012, the central bank said on Wednesday, but that was only possible due to money from outside the European Union.

Net deposits increased by 266.3 million euros in April after declining 247.2 million euros in March.

But deposits from domestic residents fell by 243.9 million euros and those from other EU countries by 16 million.

Those declines were offset by a 526.6-million-euro gain from the rest of the world.

The overextended banking sector was forced into a radical restructuring last year as part of a March 2013 deal under which international lenders agreed to bail out cash-strapped Cyprus with a 10-billion-euro loan.

Under the deal, the second-largest bank – Laiki – was wound up, and heavy losses were imposed on big depositors there and at the largest lender, Bank of Cyprus.

The sector has been struggling since then to rebuild its deposit base.