Central Bank figures released this week indicate a shift of depositors away from Cypriot banks that were most heavily exposed to Greek debt, and toward foreign lenders.
According to the CB’s statistics on MFIs (Monetary Financial Institutions) loans and deposits for the reference month of April 2012, total loans stood at €71.6 billion, compared to €70.8 billion in April last year.
During this 12-month period, however, the Popular Bank lost deposits of €1.4 billion, corresponding to 2.16 per cent of the total Cyprus market.
The Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, did not fare much better, losing deposits worth €1.2 billion, or 1.95 per cent of the market share.
The big winners were foreign banks operating here, whose deposits increased by €2.2 billion (or 2.98 per cent of market share) during the same time period.
Hellenic gained €322. 2 million, while Alpha Bank lost €637.6 million.
Deposits in co-operative banks also boosted their position, their deposits rising by €852.4 million or 0.97 per cent of the market share.
USB, Societe Generale and Eurobank all gained.
Foreign lenders gained also in the loans department, extending their market share to 15.77 per cent (up 2.94 per cent).
Out of total loans worth €68.5 billion, foreign banks gave out €10.8 billion, compared to €8.1 billion in April 2011.
The Bank of Cyprus gave out loans worth €16.3 billion (down from €15.5 billion), and the Popular Bank issued loans of €11 billion, compared to €10.6 billion last April. BoC and Popular lost 0.73 per cent and 0.75 per cent of the market share, respectively.
By Elias Hazou
Published on June 1, 2012