March was the fourth month in a row showing a continuing fall in total deposits with banks on a monthly level. At the end of March, deposits (deposits, local and foreign currency savings and term deposits) totalled €29 billion, down €106 million in relation to the end of February, and 2.1% less compared with the end of last year. The fall in total deposits during the first quarter was mainly due to a decrease in deposited cash, which reduced by 13.7%, and standing at €4.2 billion. Saving and term deposits as well as foreign currency deposits totalled €24.8 billion at the end of March 2012, 0.1% up compared with the end of last year.
The continuing decrease in foreign currency deposits was compensated for by slightly higher growth in kuna deposits. Foreign currency deposits, totalling €19.2 billion, comprise 77% of deposits, which is still significantly above 70% prior to the crisis, although during the previous year, deposits have been stagnating or seeing negative trends. On the other hand, kuna deposits have been seeing considerably stronger annual growth rates over the same period.
In terms of sectors, the general public is still the main generator of deposit growth, which is to be expected considering the complexities regarding liquidity within the corporate sector. At the end of March, public deposits totalled €19.76 billion, up €121 million in relation to the end of the 2011. Annual growth rates are weaker compared with the pre-crisis period but remain solid (5.2% in March). Corporate deposits reduced to €3.45 billion, continuing the trend since 2008. (V.A.)