New CBC Investigators at FBME Bank’s Cyprus Branch

30 April 2015

Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has appointed a new set of investigators to audit the anti money laundering procedures at the Cyprus Branch of FBME. The advisers appointed by the Central Bank are international law firm DLA Piper, financial investigators Kroll and Cypriot lawyers Georgiades & Pelides.

FBME Bank will extend full cooperation to them in a further effort to clear the Bank of allegations made last July.

It hardly goes without saying that this action should have been taken nine months ago. Much damage to FBME depositors, associated companies, employees and to the Bank itself could perhaps have been avoided. Additionally, the substantial expense incurred by the CBC on behalf of taxpayers in Cyprus could have been significantly reduced as well.

Since July last year, FBME Limited, on its own behalf, has authorised a forensic accounting investigation by international law firm Hogan Lovells and accounting specialists E&Y (Ernst and Young) USA. The results of this investigation have been presented to the US Department of the Treasury’s FinCEN bureau in several stages between September and December last year. FBME is requested rescission of the FinCEN Notices on the basis of the findings of the US professionals and is continuing to work in full cooperation with the US authorities.

It will be remembered that the Central Bank of Cyprus conducted five separate investigations into the same subject carried out by auditors, including PwC, between the summer and the end of last year. No results of these investigations have been ever made public by CBC. This is in addition to the usual annual audit by the Bank’s external auditors K Treppides and Co, and a special investigation carried out in 2013 by KPMG Germany.

The Central Bank is now appointing Andrew Andronikou, a London-based turnaround specialist with UHY Hacker Young chartered accountants, as joint-Special Administrator of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank following the earlier appointment of Dinos Christofides last July. Mr Andronikou has taken up his appointment today.