July 3, 2015 / 9:36 PM / 4 years ago

Greek bank official dismisses 'haircut' report as 'baseless'

Head of the Greek Bank association Louka Katseli is surrounded by the media as she leaves after a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis at the Finance Ministry in Athens, Greece, July 3, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

ATHENS (Reuters) - The Financial Times reported on Friday that Greek banks were preparing contingency plans for a possible “haircut” on deposits amid fears of financial collapse, a report the country’s banking association said was “completely baseless”.

The report came two days ahead of a referendum in which Greeks will accept or reject the tough terms of an aid deal with international creditors, a vote with the potential to decide the country’s future in the euro zone.

Greek leaders have repeatedly dismissed the possibility they will have to “bail-in” depositors to prevent the collapse of the banking system.

But citing bankers and business people with knowledge of the measures, the Financial Times reported: “The plans, which call for a ‘haircut’ of at least 30 percent on deposits above 8,000 euros, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank.”

The report quoted a source as saying: “It (the haircut) would take place in the context of an overall restructuring of the bank sector once Greece is back in a bailout program.”

The head of Greece’s Bank Association dismissed the report as “completely baseless”.

Louka Katseli, who also chairs the National Bank of Greece, told Skai TV that suggestions that authorities were planning a raid on deposits belonged “only in the sphere of fantasy.”

“There are no such scenarios at any Greek bank, not even as an exercise on paper,” Katseli said.

Reporting by Michele Kambas and George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis

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