ATHENS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank lowered the cap on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) Greek banks draw from the domestic central bank by 100 million euros to 46.2 billion euros (40.1 billion pounds), the Bank of Greece said on Thursday.
The move reflected improved liquidity conditions, taking into account private sector deposit flows, it said. The ELA ceiling is valid up to March 22.
Greek banks have relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) since February 2015 after being cut off from the ECB’s funding window. Emergency funding is more costly than borrowing directly from the ECB.
In June the ECB reinstated Greek banks’ access to its cheap funding operations, allowing lenders to reduce their dependence on the emergency liquidity lifeline.
ELA funding to Greek lenders fell by 900 million euros, or 2 percent to 42.8 billion euros at the end of January compared to the previous month.
Reporting by George Georgiopoulos