The Committee for the Approval of Banking transactions has decided upon a new, limited easing of capital controls as of Thursday, 1 February.

Specifically, the decision applies to cash wire transfers abroad, and it is yet another step toward the broader easing of capital controls, as Greece approaches the August, 2018 exit from the current fiscal adjustment programme.

According to the decision, the aggregate amount nationwide that can be wired abroad through the 10 authorised payment institutions will be increased from from 36 miilion euros monthly to 38.95 million euros.

The measure applies to the net amount, which results from subtracting the aggregate amount of wires coming in to Greece from the total amount of funds wired abroad.

The measure presages more easing of capital controls as bank deposits in Greek banks increase and the return to the markets approaches.

Bank of Greece data show that deposits of households and businesses in Greek banks in December, 2017, amounted to a total of 126.3 billion euros, a 2.5 billion euro increase of the previous month.

Banks expect a more substantial easing of capital controls summer, barring any unpleasant surprises during the upcoming stress tests of Greek banks – to take place between February and May – and on the condition that the economic upturn continues.

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