Greece’s wealthiest citizens and corporations seem to be in a rush to move their money out of Greek banks and into offshore or other international financial institutions.
Large banks such as Societe Generale and HSBC have seen large sums of money moved into accounts in the past few weeks.
It is thought that private banks have had millions of euros deposited in light of Greece’s current economic uncertainty. Greece is currently in a situation where it needs heavy assistance from other members of the eurozone. A main issue is that Germany are not willing to supply the emergency loan at the interest rates touted by other members of the eurozone, 4 percent to 4.5% compared to Germany’s asking of 6 percent to 6.5%.
Figures from the Bank of Greece show that in January Greek companies and households moved 5billion Euros of deposits out of the country and for February the figure was 3billion Euros. The bulk of the money has mainly been moved to Cyprus, Switzerland and the UK, with Switzerland thought to be the favoured choice for affluent Greeks who seek to avoid the punitive new tax rates that many believe Greece will be forced to introduce in light of their fiscal woe.
Fears are mounting that Greece will have the highly dubious honour of becoming the first western nation to have to default its own debt.
A bank analyst at CreditSights, John Raymond, told The Telegraph: “Most bankers say they are worried about the stability of Greece and Greek banks. This combined with the tax issue is making many people nervous about keeping their money in domestic banks or within the country”.