Bank accounts continue to bleed

Pressures on Greek bank deposits have continued in March, with sector officials estimating that households and enterprises have withdrawn a net 3 billion euros in the first weeks of this month.

This comes on top of the deposits outflow of 7.6 billion euros in February, 12.2 billion in January and 4 billion in December 2014, taking the cash flight since the end of November to almost 27 billion euros. Bankers are expressing concern that unless there is a definitive and clear agreement between Athens and its creditors, accompanied by the disbursement of significant amounts of funding to Greece, bank accounts will continue to bleed.

From an initial level of 237 billion euros in December 2007, private sector deposits crumbled to 150 billion by June 2012 and rebounded to 165 billion euros last September before dropping again to 140.4 billion in February, according to the latest figures issued this week by the Bank of Greece.

The drop is attributed to concerns over Greece’s problems in its negotiations with the eurozone.

Bank officials further fear that the prolonged worries have inflicted serious blows on market confidence, which will likely take a long time to heal.

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