Bank deposits of Greeks in Bulgaria and Romania increased by 10% and 8% respectively while in Greece deposits dropped by 23% in 2015, the largest since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008.
According to a Kathimerini newspaper report, hundreds of small and medium Greek businesses have opened accounts in Bulgaria and Romania, transferring funds in order to ensure their proper operation.
In 2015, deposits in Romania increased by 4.2 billion euros and in Bulgaria by 2.8 billion euros.
According to banking sources, the report says, the businesses are mainly from northern Greece and other areas such as Thessaly withdrew deposits from Greek banks and opened accounts in the neighboring countries.
Opening business bank accounts in both Bulgaria and Romania is extremely simple, as they are EU member states. Especially Bulgaria is accessible even by car, while all banks accept deposits in euros.
Moreover, small and medium size entrepreneurs find assistance from Greek banks because domestic banks maintain a strong presence in both countries through subsidiaries, but also through specialized consultants. Even freelancers and individuals transfer money to neighboring Balkan countries because of their concerns regarding the Greek economy.
The report notes that the funds that move abroad are deposited to local foreign banks and not Greek subsidiaries because of the fear that a collapse of Greek banks would affect their subsidiaries abroad as well.
It is also noted that in the period of July 2016, 2008, deposits in Greek banks have decreased by almost half (-46.1%), while during the same period they have increased by 74.2% in Bulgaria and 50.5% in Romania.