Greek lenders drew liquidity of about 50.7 billion euros from the European Central Bank in May, compared with 135 billion euros in June 2012. This cash flow is meant to cover the gap between deposits (at 161 billion euros in April) and loans (215 billion euros) created by the massive depletion of bank accounts due to the economic crisis.
The major decline in Greek banks’ dependence on ECB liquidity reflects the spectacular improvement of conditions in the country’s credit system and the economy in general.
Over the last couple of years local lenders have therefore been able to return about 85 billion euros or 63 percent of the liquidity drawn during the worst period of the economic crisis, in June 2012. Banks have also minimized their funding from the Bank of Greece’s emergency liquidity assistance mechanism, while some 15 billion euros in deposits have returned to the system since June 2012.