Cyprus Mail

Cyprus saw biggest decline in financial institutions last year

Shut: Laiki Bank

Cyprus had the biggest decline in the number of monetary financial institutions (MFI) in the eurozone, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Tuesday.

According to ECB figures, on January 1, 2014 there were 6,790 MFIs in the euro area, compared with 7,059 on January 1, 2013.

In relative terms, the decrease was particularly pronounced in Cyprus (-26 per cent), Greece (-17 per cent), Luxembourg (-16 per cent), Spain (-9 per cent), Malta (-9 per cent) and France (-7 per cent). In absolute terms, Luxembourg (-70), France (-76), Spain and Cyprus (-36) were the main contributors to the net decrease of 269 units in the euro area, the ECB said.

Since 2011 a substantial decrease in the number of money market funds (an MFI sub-sector) has been recorded in the euro area (-658 over three years), partly on account of their new statistical definition, which has been adjusted towards supervisory standards. In addition, the contraction in this sub-sector continued during 2013, most prominently in Luxembourg (-77) and France (-65).

Despite the enlargement of the euro area with the accession of Greece (2001), Slovenia (2007), Cyprus and Malta (both 2008), Slovakia (2009), Estonia (2011) and Latvia (2013), the number of MFIs in the euro area has decreased by 31 per cent – or 3,066 institutions – since January 1, 1999. On 1 January 2014 Germany and France accounted for 42 per cent of all euro area MFIs, approximately the same share as recorded on 1 January 2013.

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