2 April 2016
Chris Iacovides, the Special Administrator of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank Ltd who was appointed by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) in January, delivered on 31 March 2016, signed redundancy notices to 136 of FBME Bank staff members in Cyprus, covering the major part of the remaining employee base of the Bank in Cyprus.
In this regard, it is to be noted that the CBC has applied to the District Court of Nicosia for the liquidation of the Bank’s branch in Cyprus as well as the Bank’s head office in Tanzania, alleging that they are insolvent and illiquid. FBME Bank Ltd is vigorously challenging the legality of the liquidation of the branch and head office, the sole purpose of which is to bring about the destruction of the Bank by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) while legal cases are still in front of the District Court in Nicosia.
On 22 December 2015 CBC applied in secret to the Cyprus judiciary to liquidate the branch but failed to keep the matter quiet because of the intervention in court of FBME Bank.
This latest move by the CBC and its Administrator in making the bulk of its employee base redundant seeks to achieve the same destruction of the branch without gaining legal sanction. It will be vigorously opposed in the courts by FBME Bank.
Rendering the majority of the staff of the branch redundant is a further attempt by the CBC to prevent the branch from properly discharging its duties to its long standing client base. Hitherto, these clients have been served by the branch in a transparent and professional manner in accordance with recognised banking principles and practices.
Employee salaries at FBME Bank have at all times been disbursed well before month-end. The CBC and its Administrator are pursuing a policy of intimidation and threats by causing intentional delays and unnecessary distress to Bank staff. Earlier media coverage of possible redundancies at FBME had the Administrator suggesting that he could withhold payment of their Special Retirement Fund entitlements, which are guaranteed under law.