FRANKFURT Consumers and firms' deposits in banks in troubled euro zone member states remained mainly stable in November, European Central Bank data showed, indicating that worst fears of bank collapses or even a euro zone exit are receding.
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.
Private-sector deposits at Italian banks rose by 0.1 percent to 1.443 trillion euros in November after falling almost 2 percent in October. Spanish banks recorded a 0.8 percent increase to 1.516 trillion at end-November.
Greek bank deposits rose by 408 million euros to 161.4 billion euros. They have been relatively stable since June elections eased fears the country might drop out of the currency bloc, but are still about one third below their December 2009 peak.
Deposits in other countries at the sharp end of the euro zone crisis were little changed.
In Ireland they decreased 0.7 percent to 199.1 billion euros while in Portugal they rose marginally.
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)