Yesterday, Reuters reported Greeks and Italians had begun taking their money out of banks and putting it in safe-deposit boxes. One banker said he’d seen a five-fold increase in deposit box rentals.
But safe-deposit boxes aren’t the only places to stash cash. One man is reportedly hiding his money under a swimming pool.
To reverse the trend of withdrawals, banks have embarked on an interest-rate war, with some small lenders offering interest rates of up to 7 per cent on savings accounts.
The ECB reported this morning that banking activity at Euro-area banks declined by 17 per cent last week.
Current accounts, fixed-term deposits, day-to-day money and reverse repo transactions at Eurozone lenders together dropped to €79 billion from €95 billion.