The international economic crisis of 1929-32 was transmitted to Greece mainly in two ways: through the reduction of exports, and after 1931, through the disruption of international capital movements. Tobacco and currants, which together constituted 60-70% of Greek exports, were the principal victims of the international crisis. The consequences of the fall in the prices of these two products on tobacco workers and farmers were disruptive for political developments. Originally the equivalent fall in the prices of imported goods maintained a balance to the deficits in the balance of trade. However, the dependence of Greek economy on the importation of capital goods gradually inflated the deficits.

For Eleutherios Venizelos the most serious argument concerning the creation of a central bank was the defence of an automatic monetary system, the gold exchange standard and stabilisation, that came into effect in May 1928. The participation of Greece in the gold standard introduced Greek economy in the international monetary system increasing the country's borrowing possibilities, as well as the breadth of trade. However, the devaluation of the British pound in the autumn of 1931 brought about a serious crisis in Greece as well.