Greek bank chiefs are expressing moderate optimism on the country’s prospects in the midst of the energy storm that has erupted, estimating that the economy will maintain its growth rate and avoid being involved in the recessionary shock that threatens the eurozone.
Households face a 50-euro increase in the monthly tranches of their floating-rate mortgages as a result of the 75-basis point hike in the basic European Central Bank interest rate that led to the rise of the 3-month Euribor to 0.816%.
Banks and companies that manage bad loans are concerned in view of the upcoming difficult winter in terms of energy rates, the new increase in interest rates that the ECB is expected to announce on Thursday, and the increased obligations this period creates for households at the start of the school year.
Greece has made a leap in electronic payments since the period of capital controls and later during the pandemic, but Greeks’ familiarity with electronic money is far from the modern electronic solutions offered by technology.
Demand for housing loans has continued unabated after the January-June semester, as after a long lull over previous years, households are scrambling to meet their housing needs while securing the long-term low fixed interest rates that apply today.
Bank of Greece data show a 2.7-billion-euro jump in bank deposits in June as well as a €2 billion credit expansion, with a growth rate of 6.9% and 4.5% respectively. Corporate credit in particular showed an annual expansion rate of 10%.
Eurobank is introducing rolling cash desk operating hours in its branches with the aim of further familiarizing its customers with automatic transaction and payment machines – ATMs and APS – and the digital networks through which 97% of the bank’s transactions are already being carried out.
Demand for business loans increased in the year’s second quarter, while mortgages slid, according to a bank lending survey conducted by the Bank of Greece, which found a reversing of the positive trend recorded in the first quarter for housing loans.
Banks are increasing their fixed interest rates in new mortgages by up to half a percentage point, incorporating in their rate lists the upward trend of the cost of money in view of the increase in the European Central Bank key interest rates.