September 12, 2018 / 2:29 PM / 13 days ago

Emergency central bank funding to Greek banks drops in August

ATHENS, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Emergency central bank funding to Greek banks dropped in August compared to the previous month, Bank of Greece data showed on Wednesday.

Emergency funding, which is more costly than borrowing from the European Central Bank, dropped to 4.49 billion euros ($5.20 billion) from 4.84 billion euros at the of July, the data showed.

Greek banks have relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) drawn from the central bank since February 2015 after being cut off from the ECB’s funding window due to stalled bailout talks between the government and its official creditors.

Their dependence on the ELA emergency lifeline declined sharply since June 2016 when the European Central Bank reinstated banks’ access to its cheap funding operations.

But with Athens out of its bailout programe since August 21, the ECB has ended the waiver that made Greek government bonds eligible collateral for its cheap funding. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Renee Maltezou)

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