ATHENS May 27 Greek banks have seen deposit
outflows accelerate over the past week as fears rise that the
euro zone country will default on debt, two banking sources said
The spike follows a steady outflow of money from Greek
lenders this year as Athens and its creditors struggle to agree
an aid-for-reforms deal before Greece runs out of money.
"The past week in May was more challenging compared to the
previous ones in the month, with daily outflows of 200 to 300
million euros in the last few days," a senior Greek banker said.
Outflows picked up in April to about 5 billion euros ($5.44
billion) from 1.91 billion euros in March, three Greek bankers
told Reuters. Official data on April deposits will be released
by the Bank of Greece on Thursday.
Speculation about capital controls has resurfaced after a
prominent lawmaker from the conservative opposition said she was
worried about the prospect if no deal is reached with creditors
and Athens defaults on an IMF payment next month. The
government's spokesman has dismissed such a scenario.
After suffering deposit outflows of 12.25 billion euros in
January and another 7.57 billion euros in February, banks have
relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from Greece's
central bank, for which they must put up collateral.
The European Central Bank did not raise a ceiling on
emergency funding for Greek banks at its weekly review on
Wednesday, a banking source said, the first time since February
it has left the cap unchanged.
(1 US dollar = 0.9193 euro
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Deepa Babington
and Catherine Evans)