(Greece) – Greek bank portfolios have decreased to 51.6% to 27.4 billion euros today, compared to the 56.5 billion euros the portfolios were in 2010. There have been several reasons for this decrease and most of it has to do with the financial crisis that is plaguing the country.
According to data released by the Bank of Greece, another strong reason for this decrease as that Greek banks have left Turkey and Poland. When combining the activity that Greek banks in those countries produced, it made up about 36% of the bank’s international activity. There has also been a 21% drop in loans in countries where Greek banks do still have a presence.
Also according to the Bank of Greece, Greek banks need to cut down on their international activities even further. The hardest hit are Piraeus Bank and National Bank because they needed to get the Greek government to help them with their recapitalizations. The Bank of Greece said in a statement that, “Greek banks’ international activities will henceforth play only a minor role in their overall figures.”
The climate of the Greek banks was much different in 2007 before the economic crisis occurred. They had branches in fifteen countries, 3,500 branches, and they employed 42,000 people. Assets outside of Greece totaled 90 billion euros and they had 60 billion euros in loans. Most of this growth occurred between 2000 and 2007. Things look much different now.
Last year in the Summer of 2015, Greek banks needed to impose capital controls brought on by the economic crisis. As Greece was nearly forced out of the Euro zone, the people began to withdraw their money out of their bank accounts. To prevent this from happening on a large scale, Greece imposed capital controls. Recently, the country eased up on these controls, which many look at as a positive sign that the banking system has improved.