The successful stress tests on Greek banks and the rapid completion of the fourth and last bailout evaluation appear to have had a positive impact on the psychology of individual bank depositors, who are returning sums that had been withdrawn during the crisis at a rapid pace.
Last month, according to Bank of Greece data, the balances of domestic businesses and households reached the highest levels since May, 2015, with a 1.1bn euro rise on a monthly level.
That derives largely from a net inflow of 890mn euros into the accounts of individual clients.
“The success of the four systemic banks in the stress tests, combined with the completion of the economic support [bailout] programme, contributed decisively to the improvement in the climate,” banking sources said.
A significant amount of the recent increase is the result of the return of cash that had been stashed away in coffers and was placed mainly in term accounts. That, to some extent, is due to the fear of burglary and robbery.
In May, the balances in term accounts increased for the second straight month by over 450mn euros, and are at the highest levels since November 2016.
From the beginning of the year, total account balances of businesses and households were bolstered by 1.72bn euros, while since the end of last January the rise was 3.3bn euros.
Based on that data, bank managements are optimistic that the net inflow for 2018 can exceed seven billion euros, supported by tourist revenues, a large portion of which derives from the use of plastic money by foreign visitors.
A behavioural change is also seen in small and medium-sized businesses and freelance professionals, who are less reluctant than in the recent past to deposit their daily revenues in banks.
It should be noted that the banking system lost 41bn euros in deposits between December, 2014, when elections were declared, and the end of June, 2015.
The increase in balances from the lowest level under capital controls until today is only nine billion euros.