Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bank runs begin in Greece and Ireland

Gavyn Davies refers to the image below, which presents a rather disturbing trend in bank deposits in Greece and Ireland. Notably, banks in these two countries in the past year or two have experienced a sharp increase in withdrawals of retail deposits:

Davies suggests they've lost 15% of their deposits, but it could be significantly worse than that -- note that the data in the figure only goes up to around December 2010. Extrapolate the trend through to today and I'm guessing the loss is approaching 30-35%.

Fully one third of the retails deposits in these two nations have been pulled out?! Yikes. Not a good sign. As Davies comments:
As the UK government found in the case of Northern Rock, the appearance of queues outside banks is one of the worst nightmares which a central bank can face. It has not happened in Europe – yet.