ECONOMY

Greek bank deposits fall further in August

Greek bank deposits dropped slightly in August, for the third straight month, central bank data showed on Thursday.

Deposits of businesses and households fell 0.1 percent from July to 162.21 billion euros ($219.10 billion), the Bank of Greece said.

Greek banks had lost around 90 billion euros, a third of their deposit base, after the country plunged into a debt crisis in late 2009, partly due to capital flight on fears of a euro zone exit.

They picked up slightly, by about 17 billion euros, in the months following a mid-June 2012 election, which led to the formation of a new government and eased fears Athens would leave the single currency.

But the inflows have dried up since March, when Cyprus was bailed out at the expense of bank deposit holders. Austerity-hit households and businesses have also been running down bank accounts to pay for higher taxes imposed as part of Greece’s international bailout as incomes drop. [Reuters]