Bank of Cyprus has ended its silence and clarified that no special settlement took place in the cases of the sister and of the daughter of the island’s Supreme Court President Myron Nikolatos.
A spokesperson of the bank also said that “beyond the case in question concerning the Supreme Court President” a total of 333 lawsuits have also been settled out of court. And that “these actions correspond to one in five lawsuits related to the (2013) haircut, deposits, shares and bonds. Specifically, as regards bonds, the Bank of Cyprus has settled 241 cases out of court, which also concerns 22% of total claims.”
The spokesperson also argued that “out-of-court settlements are made on the basis of each case’s specific facts. It is, therefore, first examined whether the complainant has a chance of success in court, and the settlement costs and costs of the case before the decision is taken whether an out-of-court settlement is possible. A small number of such settlements were carried out for purely humanitarian reasons “.
In addition, the lender makes clear that “over 333 cases, one of which is also that of Mr. Nicolatos’ sister, have been settled. An additional 1,145 bond cases involving the offsetting of loans, including the write-off up to 50% of them, have also been settled. These cases relate to 68% of the approximately 1,700 cases eligible for settlement of loans directly or indirectly related to Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank bonds. These cases also entail haircut of loans.”
Therefore, concluded the spokesperson, “we think that the facts presented clarify that the specific case was not something ‘different’ since the number of settlements implies that it is a relatively common practice, which was (and still is) available, under conditions, to bond holders.”
“An overall resolution cannot take place, since this would imply that today’s depositors will compensate old investors. However, under conditions such as a strong legal basis for the application, humanitarian or social dimension, and acceptance of existing settlement plans or low settlement costs, an agreement is possible. ”
Bank of Cyprus has recorded losses of €37 million in first 9 months of 2018 compared to losses of €554 million at the same period of 2017. The bank’s organic profitability was affected negatively by losses from the sale non-performing exposures (NPEs) of €2.7 billion (Helix project).
The bank recorded profits of €17 million for the third quarter of this year.
The sale of the NPEs portfolio resulted in the greatest reduction of total provisions to €150 million compared to €836 million at the same period of last year. Provisions for the impairment of loans reached €128 million compared to €730 million at the same period of last year.
During the third quarter of this year the bank continued the organic reduction of NPEs by 4% on a quarterly basis or €293 million. NPEs amount to 47% of the total loan portfolio of the bank, while after the Helix project they would drop down to 37% of total loans.
“Helix is an important step forward in repairing our balance sheet and stabilising our capital position. We expect execution in the first quarter of 2019, upon receipt of regulatory approval from the ECB,” the bank’s CEO John Patrick Hourican said in a statement.
This portfolio sale complements our organic non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction. During the third quarter, we reduced NPEs by €224 mn, he added.
“This is our fourteenth consecutive quarter of meaningful reductions in NPEs and is in line with our post-Helix guidance. NPEs reduced to €7.6 bn (€5.0 bn pro forma for Helix),” he notes.
“We have a clear strategy for continuing the improvement in the asset quality position of the bank and further deal with the residual c.€5 bn of non-performing loans. We remain as focused as ever on continuing to seek solutions, both organic and inorganic, to make the bank a stronger, safer, Cyprus-focused institution, capable of supporting the local economy,” Hourican points out in his statement.
(Cyprus News Agency)