BUSINESS

Bank deposits have lost over 7 bln this month

By Evgenia Tzortzi

The outflow of deposits from Greek banks in the last couple of months has exceeded 10 billion euros, according to a Citi analysis, which also describes the political and economic conditions in Greece as particularly uncertain.

The report is based on input from the administrations of the country’s four systemic lenders and notes the decline in the sum of deposits from 164 billion euros at the end of November to just 151 billion today. Some 3 billion euros left banks in December, mostly to cover corporate needs, while the remaining 7-8 billion mainly came out of households’ bank accounts this month, up to last Monday. This has brought the deposits balance to the lowest level recorded in 2012.

Bankers told Citi that their estimates for economic growth this year have been revised downward, as the freezing of investment plans by their clients could bring growth to anywhere between 3 percent and minus 1 percent.

According to its information Citi reported that no Greek bank has yet tapped the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) of the Bank of Greece, but it did note that this may well change as all four lenders have taken steps to prepare for its use.

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