ATHENS Aug 28 Greek bank deposits dropped for
the second straight month in July, a sign that their gradual
increase since the middle of last year has run out of steam,
central bank data showed on Wednesday.
Deposits of businesses and households fell 0.2 percent from
the previous month to 162.39 billion euros ($217.50 billion)
from 162.67 billion in June, according to the Bank of Greece.
Greek banks lost about a third of their deposit base, about
90 billion euros, after the country's debt crisis erupted in
late 2009, partly due to capital flight on fears of a euro zone
More than 17 billion returned to the banking system after
mid-June last year, when the election of a new government eased
fears Athens would leave the single currency. This helped ease
banks' liquidity strains and their dependence on central bank
But the inflows have dried up in recent months as
austerity-hit households and businesses run down bank accounts
to pay for higher taxes imposed as part of the country's
international bailout as incomes drop.