Greek Banks "Unofficially" Limit Walk-In Withdrawals To €3,000, FT Reports

With last week's outflows from Greek banks totaling €6 billion by some estimates, and with Reuters reporting pre-orders for Monday withdrawals topped €1 billion, capital controls now appear to be almost inevitable and indeed, the ECB itself hinted earlier today that if Monday's emergency summit is a failure (which now appears likely), it will need to reevaluate whether the ELA cap is increased starting tomorrow.

Now, FT reports that Greek banks, having lost another €400 million over the weekend, are imposing unofficial capital controls. Here's more:

The ECB on Monday raised the limit on the amount of emergency loans available to Greek banks by around €2bn, according to two central banking officials.

 

The ECB had already increased so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance on Friday, but withdrawls from Greek banks have continued apace.

 

A commercial banker said about €400m had been withdrawn via ATMs over the weekend, bringing total outflows to €2bn between Friday and Sunday, a number confirmed by a central bank official.

 

Greek banks have imposed an unofficial ceiling of €3,000 on walk-in withdrawals, the commercial banker added. Advance orders for withdrawls worth at least €1bn placed on Friday will leave Greek bank accounts today.

 

The ECB’s governing council will hold another conference call in the next 24 hours, if necessary.

 


This comes as ELA collateral runs dangerously short and indeed, the above could indicate Greek banks now realize that even in the event the ECB agrees to raise the ELA ceiling tomorrow and Wednesday, the banking sector may run out of pledgeable assets. Of course any attempt by the banks to effectively impose preemtive capital controls could easily become self-fulfilling.