ATHENS, March 28 (Reuters) - Greek business and household bank deposits rose in February after a slight drop in the previous month, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Reduced uncertainty over the country's future in the euro zone led to deposit inflows since June 2012 with December registering the biggest monthly inflow in four years, helping to ease Greek banks' liquidity strains.
Unlike Cyprus where private sector deposits fell by 2.2 percent in February, Bank of Greece data showed deposits rose 1.9 percent to 164.02 billion euros ($209.6 billion) at the end of February from 160.97 billion at the end of January.
Greek banks lost about a third of their deposits after the country's debt crisis erupted in late 2009, partly due to capital flight on fears of a euro zone exit.
The shrinking deposit base added to strains on Greek lenders, which lost access to international funding markets and have come to depend on central bank funding for their liquidity.
Since hitting a bottom in June 2012, about 17 billion euros have returned to the banking system. ($1 = 0.7824 euros)
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou) Keywords: GREECE BANKS/DEPOSITS
(harry.Papachristou@thomsonreuters.com; +30 210 33 76 455; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org@reuters.net)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.