On 1 October 2013, Mikheil Machavariani, a Member of the Parliamentary Minority, gave a speech at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia and declared: “Banking system assets [of GDP] amount to 52% … banking deposits increased to the point of 14 billion. These are the indicators of trust present in the Georgian economy and the banking system, the system which we left to you.”FactCheck inquired about the validity of the facts brought up by the MP and checked the accuracy of the statement based on data provided by the National Bank of Georgia (
see tables D3.17 and table M3.3 at the link).The indicator of financial depth is equal to the ratio of banking assets to GDP. This figure reflects the volume of the financial sector relative to the country’s GDP. In developed countries this indicator mostly rises beyond 100%.
As shown in the table below, the assets of commercial banks amounted to GEL 12.7 billion at the end of 2011 and its percentage ratio to GDP of 2011 equalled 52.1% which is precisely the number mentioned by the MP. In 2012 these figures were, respectively, 14.35 billion and 54.9%. The same statistical data from 2003 is also given in the chart. At that point the indicated ratio amounted to 15.6%.
As for the second part of the MP’s statement with regard to banking deposits, it proves to be incorrect as, according to the data from 1 October 2012, banking deposits amounted roughly to eight and not 14 billion as claimed by the MP (see the table below).The MP might have accidentally mistaken banking deposits for banking assets which he had been discussing previously. Banking assets have indeed totalled slightly over 14 billion. By the end of 2012 this indicator was at about 14.35 billion (see the table above).
Conclusion At the beginning of 2012 the ratio of banking assets to GDP equalled to 52% while at the end of the same year the number was at 55%. Therefore, the first part of the MP’s statement is accurate. The amount of deposits in the country, however, was eight and not 14 billion as he claimed. Mikheil Machavariani could possibly by mistake have mentioned the term ‘banking deposits’ instead of banking assets (the amount of which is indeed 14 billion), this serving as the cause of the inaccuracy. Accordingly, we conclude that Mikheil Machavariani’s statement: “Banking system assets (of GDP) amount to 52% … banking deposits increased to the point of 14 billion. These are the indicators of trust present in the Georgian economy and the banking system, the system which we left to you,” is MOSTLY TRUE.