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Shrinking network of bank branches

June 12, 2019 at 10:19am
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Outstanding balances of Cyprus banks have resulted in substantial changes in the operation of branches per 100,000 adults. At a time when banks are challenged by digital transformation, customers are served by fewer branches while carrying out transactions through electronic channels the development of new data in inevitable.

Figures for 2018 are a curtain raiser on what the future has in store for the banking system considering that within 10 years the network’s shrinkage was 61.7% per 100,000 adults, according to latest data by the Association of Cyprus Banks that Phileleftheros has in its hand.

The data shows that 44 branches operated per 100,000 adults, while in 2017 the number was 53. Changes recorded in the banking sector from one year to another are distinct. In 2018, the number of bank employees was 8,948 and that of branches stood at 384.

In 2017, when the defunct Cyprus Co-operative Bank was still in the system, the total number of branches was 458 and that of employees stood at 10,627. In 2016, the banking network per 100,000 adults was 64, employees numbered 10,615 and that of branches was 542. In 2015, the branches in operation per 100,000 adults were 71 and bank employees numbered 10,939. The network that year included a total of 560 branches.

In 2014, there were 77 branches per 100,000 adults and the total number of bank employees was 10,916. In 2013, the year the bank system collapsed, there were 85 branches per 100,000 inhabitants and their total number reached 650. In 2012, the year before the financial crisis and before Laiki Bank’s collapse, the network was inflated with 108 branches per 100,000 adults and with their total number reaching 848.

In 2011, the picture was even more inflated with 113 branches per 100,000 adults, while in 2010 this was 114. In 2009 and 2008 respectively, there were 116 and 115 branches per 100,000 adults.

Regarding the network, Hellenic Bank is first as far as the number of ATMs and branches goes, followed by Bank of Cyprus. The absorption of the good part of the Cyprus Co-op bank by Hellenic in September 2018 meant an additional 149 branches and 179 ATMs, while the number of employees now stands at 2,361. In 2017, Hellenic had 121 branches, 156 ATMs and 3,704 employees.

 

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Bank of Cyprus to close 15 branches