Greece Will Monitor Bank Accounts

bank linesTrying to find innovative ways to fight tax evasion, Greece’s General Secretariat for Information Systems has completed an application that will allow the state’s monitoring and collection mechanism to access the country’s banking system via an online connection and let the government have access to depositor bank accounts.

The application, which will let the Finance Ministry troll through the accounts of all depositors suspected of tax evasion means online inspectors can scour through records of deposits, loans, credit card use and other data without permission from the account holder.

Until now, the law did not allow even investigators to check bank records, but Greece is under intense pressure from international lenders putting up $325 billion in two bailouts to find tax cheats and up tax revenues.

The system is ready and some virtual checks on accounts have already been conducted successfully, also helping with the training of the employees who will handle and store all bank data in the ministry’s server, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

The bill that will allow monitoring mechanisms, police and anti-money-laundering authorities to use the data will be tabled in Parliament next month and the System of Bank Account Registers will be in full operation as of September.

The aim is to reduce the time needed to investigate significant cases with a direct benefit for the state budget and public coffers, officials said. Those using the system will be able to search through accounts and loan transactions simply using the tax registration number of the person being investigated.


  1. Utilizing technology in rational way, rather than legwork, is the way to help cut down on tax evasion. Connecting to bank records are a must. There also has to be a proper up to date land registry that can also be
    queried, along with motor vehicle records, travel records, and all sorts of other assets (equities, bonds, credit card records, etc..) In addition the government has to be able to cross reference with close relatives and people living in same household. The ideal is every day computers run queries that flag citizens with suspicious activity rather than just do random audits.

    Unfortunately this will not help very much with the millions of crooks that either try to avoid paying VAT or work cash jobs then store the money under their mattress (especially among illegals). They want services and their own property respected but don’t respect the property of others. To fix that, would require a change of attitude in the many small time thieves that add up to big time money.

  2. Too late. Papandreou, Venezilos’ Spiros Latsis & Co are all drinking Moët laughing at the rest of the Greeks, labelling them ” useless”.

  3.  Why are you using me handle Trollski? Can’t come up with your own identity even on Greek reporter?

  4. What is sad is the poor and the ones who stay behind are the ones who will be paying…
    No big names, or companies as they have all shut down and moved offshore…
    What is worse is there are no new companies opening as it is next to impossible to open a new business in Greece and if you are lucky to get that far the tax rate is way too high…
    Wages are too high so how do you expect anyone to do business in Greece with 30% of the population in poverty or unemployeed and unable to feed their families..Things are quite bad in Greece…Tourists are also staying away from Athens as its just too dangerous to walk the streets of Athens..   Things need to change…

  5. Monitor bank accounts….code words for looking at every way possible to take your savings. 

  6. Not only that,but the government will be able to confiscate money in bank accounts if taxes have not been paid-it is indifferent if someone does not have the ability to pay taxes-without informing the owner of the account.

  7. The dramatic spike in violence in Athens is in large part due to the mass influx of illegals.  Companies are moving out of Greece because of constant riots and strikes. Both illegals and strikes are supported by leftists.

  8. Normally I prefer less regulations and monitoring but when it comes to movement of money I think its important to monitor.

    One of government’s chief roles is to protect private property. It can’t do that well unless it has an inventory of what’s going on around it. My ideal would a completely cashless society where all transactions are electronic. It would dramatically cut down on stealing (both by the rich and poor alike) because there would be electronic records of nearly all transactions. Even a common burgler would have a hard time getting rid of his goods in a cashless society. And since taxes evasion would be very difficult, the net effect would also be a reduction of taxes (since the honest people wouldn’t have to pick up the slack of the crooks) .

  9. Of course the real irony is the People have no “debt” to the central banks. The banks never “loaned” any “money”. The banks create “money” digitally out of thin air. They simply write it down or enter it into a computer program and it “exists”….. while someone else prints up trillions of worthless pieces of paper and calls it “money”. The Sheeple believe, the shopkeepers believe and…  for a while… it “works”. But only for a while.
    Let’s go over it again…  You borrowed $100. The bank did not go to the vault and take $100 and put it in your cubby. Puh…leeese. The accountants simply made a digital entry COSTING THEM NOTHING….. they did not give, loan or provide ANYTHING. Because the corrupt political class allows the central banks to “create money” out of nothing the People don’t actually OWE anything. It’s absolutely stunning how ignorant the Sheeple are. Austerity! Hey say the banksters and their political minions… let’s just pluck the Sheeple of every feather….. they have no idea they are being prepared for the pot…. there’s nothing to stop us; no rule of law, no revolution to speak of; let’s just take it all because we CAN. Turkeys.

  10. You make some fair points but are somewhat oversimplifying.

    As you mention banks can create book keeping entries when loaning money.  It really has nothing to do with the government though.. It has to do with the fact most people don’t lug around their life savings. This means lenders can loan more money than they actually have.

    Unlike past centuries though, this is regulated by the government today. There are legal limits to loan-deposit ratios (LDR). The primary reason for this is because there are risks when banks loan out too much money. If enough depositors suddenly attempt to withdraw their money it creates what is typically called a “run on the banks”.  (which can both put a bank out of business and erase someone;se life savings).

    its also important to note that while having loan-to-deposite ratios is a risky way to lend money, this is out in the open. No one forces anyone to risk their personal money by putting it in a bank that operates this way. Essentially depositers are risking their money volentarily in exchange for the convenience the bank provides. Someone could reduce their risk by putting it in instiutions that don’t lend money or even store it under a matress  if they wish.,

    That said, because of the size of banks today, I think its logical for governments to force them to have smaller Loan-deposit ratios. Its savy consumer also considers the LDR of the bank they are depositing their money in. Some banks offer higher interest rates on deposites or lower fees beacuse they have a high LDR. Also important to look at when depositing money with some bank is how much of the money is guarteed protected by some sort of federal deposite security mechinicsm (which isn’t really applicable in Greece at the moment as its on foreigner creditor life support)

    What those that argue against austarity don’t realize is that even if Greee straight defaulted it wouldn’t be out of the austarity woods. Budgets would still need to be balanced. In addition because there wouldn’t be bail out funds propping up Greek banks, and no federal deposite security mechnism, there would likely be a run on the banks (with many private citizens and business losing their savings which would further hurt our economy)