What a Way to Run a Bank!

13 October 2014

Dinos Christofides, the Administrator of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank, appointed by the Cyprus Central Bank under its inappropriate Resolution Decree, will be away from 13 to 20 October 2014, and has left instructions that no cheques are to be issued during this time. In other words, he hasn’t appointed a deputy to do his self-appointed task of approving each and every payment. Presumably, his abnormal service will resume on 20 October.

It seems so long ago that it appears to have happened in a different place, but when he was appointed on 22 July 2014 he said his aim was to protect the interests of all depositors. Given that depositors couldn’t get access to their own money at all before 2 September, and that since then they can do so only by visiting the branch to pick up a cheque for EUR10,000, which can be processed by only one Cypriot bank, it is hard to think these depositors would share the view that their interests have been protected. Many have told us that the so-called Administrator prefers to sit on his hands and often decides not to approve payments. On what basis? On a whim? On how he feels that morning?

He doesn’t say. We assume he feels himself answerable only to the Central Bank’s resolution authority – and they say nothing at all. Surely it is time that Chrystalla Georghadji, Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, answered her many critics on this and the other serious issues she faces.

It is no small matter either. In terms of private depositors, corporate customers and their staff, customers and employees, it is estimated that 80,000 people have been affected by the Resolution on FBME’s Cyprus branch and the antics of the Administrator – who hasn’t even the decency to appoint a deputy when he goes on holiday!


Important notice: FBME takes this opportunity to reassure all its customers that the Bank remains liquid with all deposits covered.