FRANKFURT, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Consumers and firms' deposits in banks in troubled euro zone member states rose in December, European Central Bank data showed on Monday, indicating that fears of bank collapses or even a euro zone exit are receding further.
The ECB managed to calm financial markets by announcing a new government bond purchase plan in September, which has since brought down sovereign bond spreads for countries such as Italy and Spain.
Greek bank deposits rose by 6.4 billion euros to 167.8 billion euros. They have been relatively stable since June elections eased fears the country might drop out of the currency bloc, but are still almost one third below their December 2009 peak.
Private-sector deposits at Italian banks rose by 3.7 percent to 1.497 trillion euros in December after a slight rise in November and hit a new record high.
Deposits in other countries at the sharp end of the euro zone crisis were little changed.
In Ireland they decreased 1 percent to 197.0 billion euros and were down in Portugal by 1.4 percent to 210.4 billion.
Spanish banks recorded a 0.2 percent increase to 1.52 trillion at end-December.
Monthly fluctuations in the figures are common, though sharp consecutive drops in countries with stable banking systems are unusual.
The data, which are for all currencies combined, are not seasonally adjusted and differ slightly from national central bank figures. They exclude deposits from central government and banks.
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Toby Chopra) Keywords: GREECE/BANKDEPOSITS ECB
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