Fears that Greece might default on its debts or even leave Europe’s currency union have deepened since May 6. The May 6 election left no party with enough votes for a majority in parliament and days of talks failed to resolve the country’s political deadlock.
An HSBC spokesman said, “Like all banks, we have been working with regulators to undertake preparatory work at multiple levels in the event of a sovereign default, an exit from the euro, or any other eventuality, ” Ta Nea reported.
HSBC is training staff at its 15 locations in the country to manage computer systems and update cash dispensers in the event of a Greek exit from the European currency union, according to Independent.
HSBC’s running tests are to ensure also whether its ATMs are able to handle banknotes of a different size and texture.
The Troika of international lenders and the International Monetary Fund are waiting to see what government will result from the next general elections on June 17, that is widely regarded as a vote on whether to stick with the euro, before disbursing more aid.
However, analysts warn that a default wouldn’t automatically lead to an exit of Greece from the euro zone.
Meanwhile, the National Bank of Greece study published a report a few days ago has warned that if Greece did exit the euro, unemployment would rise to 34 percent while inflation would hit 30 percent and then higher. Unemployment in Greece currently stands at around 22 percent while inflation is 2 percent.