FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German and Dutch banks said on Sunday said they were fortified against possible financial turmoil in Greece this week after the country announced it would keep banks closed on Monday and would introduce capital controls.
Greece’s international creditors refused to extend the country’s bailout in talks at the weekend, prompting savers to queue to withdraw cash from the country’s beleaguered banks and taking Athens’ standoff to a dangerous new level.
“We are very well-prepared because we’ve been anticipating a situation like this for a long time,” said a spokesman for Germany’s second biggest lender, Commerzbank CBKG.DE.
The Athens stock exchange will also be closed on Monday as the government tries to manage the financial fallout of the disagreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Germany’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE, said it felt well-prepared and was keeping a close eye on developments.
“Deutsche Bank has sufficient safety mechanisms in place to safeguard its business activities as well as those of its clients,” it said in a statement that was also echoed by DZ Bank, the lender at the center of Germany’s cooperative banking system.
Most large banks have established working groups to plan around scenarios of government and bank insolvencies, which can cause rapid collateral damage to other financial market players if for example, funds are transferred to a suddenly insolvent counter-party.
Banks have also been holding regular telephone conferences and conducting dry runs to make sure their systems are running properly, said a risk manager at a large German bank.
Dutch banks such as ING ING.AS and ABN AMRO are also seen as well-prepared.
ABN Amro spokesman Jeroen van Maarschalkerweerd said the focus was on anticipating what may happen and quickly advising the bank’s clients.
“Risk management is part of our business,” he said.
“Thinking about scenarios is what we do, and we are prepared.”
Reporting by Jonathan Gould, Kathrin Jones, Alexander Huebner in Frankfurt and Toby Sterling in Amsterdam