Local Media Reports on FBME

July 12, 2015

In an effort to keep our international customers updated we are providing below a translation of an article that appeared today in the well-known local newspaper “Politis”.

“The new administrator eases services for FBME bank’s customers.

 Following weeks of strained bureaucratic processes customers of the under administration FBME Bank’s Cyprus branch were informed this week that pay-outs from their accounts have been switched to once-a-week withdrawals of EUR 1,000, rather than the daily amounts of EUR 200, which has been the rule since early March. According to sources close to Bank the move appears to have been initiated by the new Special Administrator Andrew Andronikou who persuaded the Central Bank to accept the change.

It is also being suggested that the Central Bank – in the midst of a difficult Arbitration Court process – is for the first time beginning to reconsider its options and overall handling in an attempt to put an end to a case that is by general admission going nowhere.

There is growing concern among key players in the case, both at government and Central Bank level, over the rising cost for the Republic as well as the prospect of damages given that the allegations that lead to the closure of the Bank almost a year ago are close to being disproved.

Sources close to FBME say the shift, which does not affect the amounts available to customers as such, does bring “a touch of sanity” following four cumbersome months.

The ?200 a day set up had necessitated a huge volume of documentation moving between the Bank and the Administrator, and the Bank of Cyprus, which was acting as paying agent as long as FBME customers opened an account with them. The move reduces the bureaucracy and volume of cheques that needed to be printed.

In practical terms FBME customers will now have to submit their requests by noon Cyprus time on Wednesdays. The Special Administrator will review documentation and sign cheques on Thursdays and the cheques themselves will be issued on Friday afternoons. The process begins this week.

Mr Andronikou was appointed following the resignation of Mr Dinos Christofides in April under as yet unclear circumstances. His arrival was initially treated with reservation as his experience is in liquidation which is a prospect not open to the case of FBME given also the recommendations of the Paris based ICC Arbitration Court.  But reports in the media in recent weeks appeared to suggest that  Andronikou, frustrated by the Central Bank’s overall confused stance on FBME, has sought to be more practical in an attempt also to cut down on the exorbitant costs of sustaining the current situation.”

To see the actual article as it appeared, press here.