NICOSIA – Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Chrystalla Georghadji said confidence is returning to the beleaguered banker sector, almost two years after the government seized big chunks of depositor’s savings as part of an international bailout plan.
She told delegates at the Investors’ Summit that reforms put in place at the direction of the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that put up a 10 billion euro rescue plan were working.
That came with austerity measures and a condition the government confiscate 47.5 percent of bank deposits over 100,000 euros, almost wiping out some small businesses and the life savings of others.
She said that the four systemic banks – Bank of Cyprus, Cooperative Central Bank, Hellenic Bank and RCB Bank – are now directly supervised by the European Central Bank.
It was those banks whose big holdings in devalued Greek bonds and bad loans to failed Greek businesses nearly toppled them and the country’s economy at the same time.
No banker has been held accountable although President Nicos Anastasiades, who imposed the confiscation scheme he opposed while out of office, had vowed he’d find out who was responsible. He hasn’t.
“The confidence of the international community is returning to the Cyprus banking sector. It is pleasing to see that the recent restructuring work and reforms are already delivering promising results, and the sector is coming out of this difficult juncture in a strong and healthier condition,” Georghadji said, stressing she would continue to follow the Troika’s plan.