(Greece) – Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s have given Greek banks an upgrade in their ratings. This upgrade involved the Greek banks Alpha, Eurobank, National Bank, and the Piraeus Bank. The ratings boost came after Greece released some of their capital controls.
Last summer in 2015, Greece needed to impose capital controls on the population to prevent too many withdrawals from the banks. During the financial crisis from last summer before Greece was awarded its second bailout, the country was on the brink of leaving the Eurozone. After the third bailout that was decided on a few months ago, however, the economy has shown signs of improvement. As a result of that, Greece has eased some of its capital controls. In particular, they set the limit for daily withdrawals to be much higher than it was.
Representatives from the agency said that, “We view the lifting of this ban as a significant relaxation, as it could allow for cash deposits to be brought back into the banking system, raising confidence in the Greek banking sector…We expect some minor deposit inflows in the coming months.”
Despite these positive signs for the economy, however, officials have said that Greece still has a ways to go. The country is currently in the midst of a recession, and many people are still having trouble making ends meet. The people have endured several years of austerity, increased taxes, and rising foods costs. This ratings boost from S & P, however, is looked to be a positive sign.
S & P, however, remains casually optimistic. They said, “The upgrades reflect the banks’ fragile financial profiles in the context of a weak economic and operating environment in Greece, a high level of non-performing exposures, and poor profitability. We anticipate that the four banks’ funding positions will remain highly unbalanced, resulting in their continued reliance on liquidity facilities provided by the European authorities to cover their needs.”