ECONOMY

Deposits rise, as do withdrawals

The flow of deposits into Greek bank accounts continued in January, but it was matched by the amount of withdrawals for tax payments, according to bank officials.

As a result, the total balance of deposits remained at 161.45 billion euros, the same level as December, credit sector insiders told Kathimerini, following a net inflow of some 5.5 billion in the last month of 2012. Given the new cuts to salaries and pensions and the increase in tax obligations, households are left with little option other than to use any deposits left for emergencies.

Despite the halt in the rising course of total deposits last month, the total picture of the market in terms of cash flow has improved significantly in the last few months, thanks also to the recent reopening of the Eurosystem’s credit lines for Greek banks.

In the seven months from June to December 2012, bank deposits posted growth of 11 billion euros following many months of decline. This amount could double within 2013, as according to Bank of Greece estimates there is still cash stashed away in safe deposit boxes and mattresses believed to total some 20 billion euros. Should the favorable climate continue to improve, bank officials expect most of that to return to the credit system.