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Greek banks get deadline to increase/decrease rates for deposits/loans

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras gave the banks 10 days to proceed “immediately and bravely” with an increase in interest rates on deposits and a reduction in interest rates on new loans.

He described the 4.86% interest rate on new loans in October as “unacceptable.”

Speaking to Skai TV on Saturday, the minister said that “the average interest rate on new deposits is stable at 0.05%. The average interest rate on new loans in October increased by 0.26% and is now at  4.86%,” adding that this is unacceptable.

They should raise deposit rates immediately and significantly, and reduce the interest rate on new loans.”

He underlined that in addition to the four systemic banks, there are bank institutions with higher interest rate for deposits.

According to the minister, a second very important chapter concerns bank commissions.

“Banks charge Greek citizens a lot, and they don’t pay them what they should. I have asked them to re-evaluate within 10 days the commission on 12 specific services,” he said.

Staikouras also clarified that there is significant progress regarding the extrajudicial mechanism.

The Minister did not reveal what and if any measures will be taken, if the banks will not come up with satisfying proposals in a meeting with Staikouras after ten days.

Leader of main opposition party SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, proposed than banks should be extra taxed.

PS After almost four years in power, New Democracy and the FinMin found out bank charges are “a lot” and they seem ‘annoyed’.

Fact is, however, that elections are nearing and conservative, neoliberal ND tries to display a “social” profile. (HA!)

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One comment

  1. With bank branches closing all the time and access to ATMs decreasing, one useful change to charges would be to abolish the fee for using the ATM of another bank. The banks are all interconnected electronically so there is no real cost to the banks to reconcile the payments. All the cooperative banks charge no fee for using the ATM of another cooperative bank. In the UK you can use the ATM of any bank without charge. Independent, non-bank ATM operators could still be allowed to charge BUT the charge must be displayed prominently.

    There is a significant cost to the banks in operating the ATM network. All the banks should be told that they have to cooperate to ensure that there is at least one ATM available within a reasonable distance of all citizens. As long as they do that and abolish cross charges then they could reduce the total number of ATMS thus reducing their costs. The number operated by each bank should be in proportion to that bank’s turnover.

    I think that they should also abolish charges for bank transfers. Again they don’t really cost the bank anything like the charge they impose. During the worst phases of COVID I got my repeat prescriptions by phoning my doctors surgery and receiving them by SMS and email. I had to pay the private doctor’s fee for issuing the prescriptions by bank transfer. On a €20 transfer my bank charged €3 for sending it and her bank charged €4 for receiving it, i.e. a 35% charge.