Greece’s Alpha Bank, Eurobank applied for ELA funding

Greece’s Alpha Bank and Eurobank were the two lenders that applied for emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the Greek central bank, a banking source told Reuters on Friday.

A Eurobank investor relations executive confirmed it had applied for the emergency funding. Alpha Bank declined to comment.

Increased deposit outflows since Greece called snap elections slated for Jan. 25, coupled with government T-bill issues have squeezed banks’ liquidity levels.

Greece’s third-largest lender Eurobank applied for emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the country’s central bank as a precaution and does not expect to use the funding in the short term, an executive at the bank told Reuters.

“We are not making use of ELA funding currently and do not foresee that we will need to in the immediate future as we have sufficient collateral to tap funding from the European Central Bank,» the executive said, declining to be named.

Eurobank shares were down more than 6 percent at 0.169 euros on Friday, underperforming the Athens bourse’s banking index which was losing 5.3 percent.