debt crisis

Greek Banks Back in Black

A man walks by a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece, October 31, 2015.The European Central Bank is expected to say on Saturday that Greek's battered banks need up to 14 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in fresh capital in order to survive.REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis
A man walks by a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The improved outlook at Greece’s banks could lead to an easing of capital controls and better access to ECB cash.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Analysts expect all four of Greece’s big banks to return to black this year.
    • Eurobank saw a first-quarter profit of €60 million; the National Bank of Greece saw a profit of €87 million; and Piraeus reduced its losses from €1.24 billion to €37 million.
    • Since the debt crisis erupted in 2010, Greece’s four largest banks have suffered €50.6 billion in losses.
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    Audio

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After five straight years of losses, Greece’s largest banks are finally showing signs of life.

Eurobank reported a net profit of €60 million in the first quarter of 2016 after suffering a loss of €175 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

The National Bank of Greece experienced an even bigger turn around, flipping a loss €889 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 into a net profit of €87 million in the first quarter of this year.

And Piraeus Bank came close to breaking even, having reduced a massive €1.24-billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2015 to just €37 million in the first quarter of this year. Michalis Sallas, the head of Piraeus, expects Greece’s largest bank to turn a profit of “several hundred million euros” this year.

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