ECONOMY

Banks regain access to Eurosystem

The return of the country’s major banks to the Eurosystem’s basic credit line on Tuesday is a sign that the local sector is reverting to normality.

According to sources, National, Alpha and Piraeus regained access to the normal funding line following a decision by the European Central Bank. Eurobank had not been excluded by the Eurosystem.

This is a very significant development as it will significantly reduce the cost of money for Greek lenders: The emergency liquidity assistance that local banks had to resort to until yesterday came with an interest rate of 3 percent, while normal funding from the Eurosystem has a rate of just 0.75 percent. The rate change is expected to have a benefit of more than 1 billion euros in the cost of money for banks in the long term.

ECB representatives confirmed to Kathimerini that Greek banks have returned to the central lender’s liquidity system, adding that this comes after the progress noted in their recapitalization process.