Wednesday, June 27 14:36:42
Millions of euros are trickling back into Greek banks from savers reassured by the result of the June 17 election, though amounts remain a fraction of what was withdrawn ahead of the poll, bankers said today.
Bankers said the pace of deposit inflows set immediately after the vote had slowed, but money was still returning after the formation of a conservative-led government reduced the chances of the country crashing out of the euro zone, at least in the short to medium term.
Yannis Stournaras, a liberal economist who was named finance minister on Tuesday, told a book presentation hours before his appointment that total inflows after the vote had touched 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion).
That is still well below the sum that Greeks withdrew in the days leading up to the election, when up to 800 million euros was flying out daily from major Greek lenders, according to bankers.
"It is mostly money stashed at home that is returning. We are seeing about 10 million euros a day, down from about 15 to 20 million previously," said a banker at small Greek lender, who asked not to be named.
Much of the withdrawals had been stashed away at home or in safe deposit boxes, out of fear that victory for the radical leftist Syriza bloc committed to tearing up the terms of Greece's international bailout could send the country back to the drachma currency.
A second banker at a large Greek bank said: "The numbers are not huge but there is a daily return. We are seeing about 20 million euros brought back daily."
Between the onset of the debt crisis in late 2009 and April 2012, Greek banks had lost around 30 percent of their deposit base, or 72 billion euros. Outflows have picked up at times of acute political instability. (C ) Reuters