ECB: Greek banks continue to bleed deposits

Firms and consumers continued to pull their money out of Greek banks at a rapid rate in February, European Central Bank data showed on Wednesday, underscoring the ongoing lack of trust the country’s banking system faces.

Private sector deposits in Greek banks fell by 2.7 percent in February after a near 3 percent drop in January, with the total falling to 170.1 billion euros, the lowest level since October 2006.

They are now 30 percent below their peak in December 2009.

Private-sector deposits in Portugal and other countries in the middle of the debt crisis fared much better, with the figures roughly flat in Portugal and Spain, dropping less than 1 percent in Ireland and rising more than 1 percent in Italy.

With the exception of Portugal, there has been a steady decline in the amount of money parked in banks in all peripheral countries in the last year.

Monthly fluctuations in the figures are common, though sharp consecutive drops in countries with stable banking systems are unusual.

The data, which are for all currencies combined, are not seasonally adjusted and differ slightly from national central bank figures. The measure excludes deposits from central government and financial institutions.


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