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The Greek economic crisis and the banks

Hardouvelis, Gikas A. and Vayanos, Dimitri ORCID: 0000-0002-0944-4914 (2023) The Greek economic crisis and the banks. GreeSE Papers: Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe (180). Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In this paper we review the Greek economic crisis focusing on the banking system. Banksovereign linkages were strong during the crisis: banks’ liquidity problems before the sovereign crisis spilled over to the real economy, and more importantly the sovereign’s default rendered all Greek banks insolvent because of their positions in government bonds. The Greek banking system was put back on its feet through a series of recapitalizations, following which industry concentration became the highest in Europe. Banks were slow to reduce non-performing loans (NPLs), which peaked at 48.9% of gross loans, because of their limited capital buffers. Government guarantees for securitizations were finally the key for NPLs to decline close to European averages. Banks’ capital buffers have improved through internal profitability but remain below European averages. Lending to the real economy is low but recovering, and banks’ exposure to the sovereign is again increasing.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G0 - General > G00 - General
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2023 11:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:26

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