The cost of money rose in Greece in March with banks raising their lending interest rates, while deposit interest rates remained largely unchanged, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday. More specifically, in March 2011, the average interest rate on overnight deposits from households remained basically unchanged at 0.45%, while the corresponding rate on deposits from non-financial corporations increased by 7 basis points to 0.41%. The average interest rate on deposits from households with an agreed maturity of up to 1 year remained basically unchanged at 3.76%.

In the case of loans, the average interest rate on consumer loans without a defined maturity (a category which includes credit card debt, open account loans and debit balances on current accounts) increased in March 2011 by 6 basis points to 14.70%.

Similarly, the average interest rate on corporate loans without a defined maturity and the corresponding rate on loans to sole proprietors increased by 15 and 6 basis points to 7.05% and 9.78% respectively. The average interest rate on corporate loans with a defined maturity at a floating rate or with an initial rate fixation period of up to one year increased by 23 basis points to 6.46% for loans up to EUR 1 million, and by 2 basis points to 5.39% for loans above EUR 1 million. Finally, the average interest rates on housing loans increased by 13 basis points to 4.04% for loans at a floating rate or with an initial rate fixation period of up to one year and by 29 basis points to 3.86% for loans with an initial fixation period of over 1 and up to 5 years.

In March 2011 the average interest rates on outstanding amounts of deposits and loans showed mixed developments. In particular, the average interest rate on outstanding amounts of deposits from households with an agreed maturity of up to 2 years increased in March 2011 by 3 basis points to 3.58%, while the corresponding interest rate on deposits from non-financial corporations decreased by 9 basis points to 3.60%. The average interest rate on outstanding amounts of housing loans with over five years’ maturity remained basically unchanged at 3.69%. The corresponding rate on corporate loans increased by 6 basis points to 4.72%, while the one to sole proprietors decreased by 10 basis points to 5.61%.