A peculiar trend has emerged from the government’s decision to extend the deadline for paying bounced checks up to the end of September. Banking sources explain that although the measure was taken to relieve those who were facing liquidity problems due to the capital controls, its horizontal application has led to more problems.
This is the case because hardly anyone is currently paying the cash needed to cover the checks’ value into their bank accounts, seeking to exploit the extended grace period granted. If they do not pay up by the end of the month they will be entered into the Teiresias register of insolvent borrowers. As a result, even those who can pay to cover the checks’ value are not doing so for strategic reasons.
This development has led to a freeze in the the market, given that it normally operates to a great extent on checks, as they constitute a parallel form of credit estimated to total some 150 billion euros per year.