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Greek banking system

As of 2018, there are 115 banks in Greece, 36 of them are international banks that operate branches in the country on permanent bases.

The Bank of Greece is Greece’s central bank. It is an independent authority that ensures price stability and smooth operation of the financial system. The Bank of Greece is an integral part of the Eurosystem and together with the other national central banks of the euro area and the European Central Bank takes part in the formulation of the single monetary policy.

 Over the last years, the banking system has suffered a lot of damage, and, as a result, several banks have stopped their operation in Greece and have left the country, while the smaller ones either have closed or have merged with larger ones.

According to the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), the number of participants currently registered under the HEBIC identification code is 37. The Hellenic Bank Association (HBA) is the representative body of Greek and foreign credit institutions operating in Greece. The main functions of the Association are: to express the views of its members, to intervene in the regulatory process, to participate in the decision-making procedure of legislative or technical committees at the international, European and national level, and to cooperate with other countries’ financial sector institutions and associations on a bilateral or multilateral basis. Finally, the main goal of the Association is to achieve the modernization of its member banks and the overall development of the financial sector.

Currently, the largest banking groups remaining in Greece are:

  • National Bank of Greece SA
  • EFG Eurobank Ergasias
  • AlphaBank AE
  • Piraeus Bank SA
  • Attica Bank SA

There are a lot of international banks actively operating on the territory of Greece.

It should be mentioned that changes in Eurozone have a direct impact on the national lending system’s smooth functioning. The country’s growth also depends on the Central Bank’s efficient functioning, as well as of the large commercial institutions that specialize in attracting foreign investments and their further remaining in Greece.

In 2019 two more new banks opened. Since then they have declared their presence and claimed their share in the financial system.     

“We have established Optima bank aiming at revealing the country’s potential. The opening of a new chapter which signifies the dawn of a new economic era is impossible without the banks’ effective contribution,” says George Taniskidis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Optima Bank.

 With more than 200 employees, Praxia Bank is the first 100% digital bank in Greece aiming at satisfying the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, private individuals and providing them with digital banking products, wherever located. Among other services, the bank will provide first deposits and financing for different business projects implementation.

Greece’s financial institutions demonstrate a trend towards modernization and improvement. The steady growth of GPR per capita and foreign investments, especially in real estate, development of different projects in Athens and islands, and hotel business growth indicate that the dynamic is going to be extremely positive in the foreseeable future.

For those of you who want to become a fully-integrated part of the European community, DKG Development Company offers a full spectrum of services, such as the opening of a bank account, property selection and even obtaining a residence permit in Greece.