And so the Grexit continues to be nigh: George Soros may handicap Greece’s June 17 election in favor of the pro-bailout parties deemed more likely to keep the nation in Europe’s monetary union, but better-safe-than-sorry still applies. If you’re a Greek saver, that may mean stashing some euros under your mattress. If you’re the British banknote printer De La Rue, it means denying rumors that you’ve been printing drachma just in case. And if you’re HSBC, it means testing Athens ATMs for compatibility with the drachma, though that seems something of a dicey proposition, given that drachma banknotes supposedly don’t exist, not to mention the fact Greek depositors may have looted their HSBC accounts long before the new drachma lands, leaving little to withdraw.
From This is Money:
HSBC has tested its cash machines in Greece to check whether they could cope with the reintroduction of the drachma if the country drops out of the euro.
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.’
The cash machine tests at branches in Athens are understood to have been extensive to ensure that the machines are able to handle banknotes of a different size and texture.