The Greek banking system has radically changed over the past two decades. Mergers and acquisitions had already begun in the late 1980s, but it was two significant events 20 years ago that marked the beginning of a process that has led to the consolidation of the country’s banking sector in the dominant “big four."
“A few days ago we installed a card terminal (POS) to meet rising demand for payments in plastic money. Many of our customers considered it a prerequisite to come back to us to be able to pay using a card,” says the owner of a small seaside taverna on the island of Santorini.
Demand for new loans in retail banking has practically frozen, as “just a handful of new loans have been issued,” a senior official at one of Greece’s systemic banks told Kathimerini while commenting on the credit contraction.