Greeks, Romanians Rush to Stash Savings in Bulgaria

Finance | August 17, 2011, Wednesday // 13:40|  views

A woman looks on in front of the central office of UniCredit Bulbank in Sofia. UniCredit Bulbank is the biggest bank in Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgarian banks have seen a significant growth in deposits over the last two months thanks to Greek and Romanian nationals, who rush to stash their savings here, officials and bankers say.

The deposits of foreign citizens and companies in local banks have increased by BGN 18 M and BGN 49 M respectively in June over the previous month, according to figures, cited by 24 Hours daily.

"There has been recently a noticeable trend among Greek citizens and businesses, who prefer to open deposit accounts in Bulgarian banks," Maria Ilieva, CEO of MKB Unionbank, the 12th largest bank by assets in the country, told the daily.

UniCredit Bulbank officials also confirmed that recent months have witnessed an increase in deposits by Greeks and Romanians.

The Bulgarian banks stability and their more attractive interest rate policy are the main reasons for the interest of Greek and Romanian citizens and companies, according to the bankers.

Meanwhile a survey has shown that over the last five years only 45% of Bulgaria's population disposed of sufficient incomes to be able to put aside regular savings, predominantly small sums of BGN 100 per month.

A recent analysis by Bulgaria's biggest bank UniCredit Bulbank showed an interesting trend – in times of crisis people with larger deposits tend to increase the amounts in the bank accounts, while those with smaller savings have them downloaded.

Moreover, it appeared that over two thirds of the money deposited in banks are in the hands of just 5% of the households in the country.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Bulgaria, deposits, banks, bank, UniCredit Bulbank, MKB Unionbank, UniCredit Bul, MKB, Union, Greek, Romanian, Greeks, Romanians


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