Following Tsipras' surprise referendum decision (and subsequent pulling of proposals by Troika the institutions), Greece's bank jog has turned into a full sprint. ATM lines began to form at 2am, minutes after the announcement and now many ATMs are out of money and, as Bloomberg reports, some Greek banks are drastically limiting cash transactions. Despite all the reassurances that "banks will open Monday," two senior bank executives have warned that some lenders will not be able to open Monday (unless more emergency liquidity is released).
Many ATMs have been drained...
As Bloomberg reports,
Some Greek banks limiting cash transactions as hundreds of people lined up outside branches and drained cash machines after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called vote for July 5 that could decide whether Greece remains in euro.
2 senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7,000 ATMs had run out of cash as of Saturday morning, and that some lenders may not be able to open on Monday unless there was an emergency liquidity injection from the Bank of Greece.
Central bank spokesman said bank is making efforts to supply money to the system
Some banks were placing limits in daily bank note and ATM transactions. Yiota Kardogianni, manager at a Piraeus Bank branch said cash withdrawals were limited at EU3000 ($3,350) daily and ATM withdrawals at EU600. Alpha Bank had set a daily limit of EU5000 for most of its branches since last week.
As Barclays previously noted, during the same period over which Greek banks lost nearly €30 billion in deposits, banknotes in circulation jumped by some €13 billion. In short, because Greeks are increasingly prone to stuffing their euros in mattresses, a large proportion of the deposit flight has come in the form of hard currency withdrawals, meaning the Bank of Greece is forced to (literally) print billions in physical banknotes:
A large part of the deposit outflows is in the form of banknotes, whose usage has increased significantly since the end of last year (+44%). Indeed, out of a deposit outflow of €29bn (from the end of November 2014 to the end of April 2015), banknotes in circulation in Greece have increased by €13bn.
Crucially, this is not just about banks being in trouble - drained of deposits electronically - this is running out of physical banknotes, there is literally no more physical cash left in Greek banks.