Cyprus banks' deposit flight slows in September -ECB
FRANKFURT Oct 25 (Reuters) - Consumers and companies withdrew deposits in September at a slower pace than in previous months from banks in Cyprus, where big account holders in the two largest lenders were forced to take a hit as part of an international bailout.
Private-sector deposits fell by 1 percent to 35.56 billion euros after a 2.1 percent fall in August, European Central Bank data showed on Friday.
They had peaked at 50.5 billion euros in May of last year and have now lost almost 30 percent of their deposit base in just 17 months, hitting the lowest level since May 2008.
Banks on the island were shut for nearly two weeks in March after Cyprus agreed a 10-billion-euro bailout, which forced major depositors to pay part of the cost of the rescue.
Capital controls are still in place on the island, with limits on how much people can transfer from their accounts. Cyprus is gradually easing the controls.
The data showed that deposits in other southern European countries mired in the debt crisis remained relatively stable.
Private-sector deposits fell slightly in Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Greece in September. They were slightly higher in Ireland and Portugal.
Monthly fluctuations in the figures are common, though sharp consecutive drops in countries with stable banking systems are unusual.
The data, which are for all currencies combined, are not seasonally adjusted and differ slightly from national central bank figures. They exclude deposits from central government and banks. (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen)
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