Lending by overseas banks fell by a third


Lending by international banks to Greece fell by a third, or $22 billion, in the first three months of the year as concerns about its economy and eurozone membership mounted, according to cross-border lending data released on Friday.

The Bank for International Settlements said cross-border lending to Greek companies, banks, individuals and other entities had dropped to $45.5 billion at the end of March.

Lending to Greek banks slumped to $2.2 billion by the end of March from $31 billion at the end of June 2014, BIS said.

Cross-border lending to Greek private sector firms stood at $16 billion at the end of March, and lending to the official sector was down to $600 million.

The BIS said global cross-border lending rose by $755 billion in the first quarter, led by a $406 billion surge in lending to eurozone countries, the highest quarterly rise to the bloc since early 2008, despite the contraction in Greece.

International lending to the eurozone rose by 9 percent in the year to end-March.