Greek Savers Withdrew €12B in January

Anxious savers withdrew €12bn (£8.8bn) from Greece’s banks in January, underlining the desperate challenge facing Athens’ anti-austerity ministers during last week’s debt talks.

Figures for February are not yet available from the European Central Bank, but the exodus is likely to have continued after the Syriza-led coalition came to power, and battled to secure a four-month extension on its €172bn bailout loan.

With the ECB offering only limited support to Greek banks under the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) programme, the scale of the capital flight suggests Athens had to strike a deal last week to halt a bank run that could have endangered the country’s financial system.

Its finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who led last week’s Brussels negotiations, eventually secured an agreement in principle on extending emergency funding for Greece. On Thursday, he boasted that deposits had since flooded back into the country.

“There was a deposit flight back into the Greek banking sector,” Varoufakis told Bloomberg TV. “It’s a question of direction. Once you turn the tide, you hope.” He added that €700m was deposited at Greek banks on Tuesday alone.

via The Guardian

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza