Cyprus Mail

Laiki depositors vow to fight on

By Staff reporter

THE association of depositors of former Laiki Bank has vowed to fight on to reclaim all the money “stolen” from them a year ago.

In a press release yesterday, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the bail-in, the association issued a rallying cry to its members.

“March 2014 marks one year after the criminal action of the troika, the Republic of Cyprus (the government and the House of Representatives), the Central Bank and our European partners, which resulted in the theft of our deposits.

“An action which they shall fail to make go away no matter how hard they try,” it pledged.

Known by its Greek acronym SYKALA, the association said it has managed to grow from a small group of 15 persons initially to some 4,000 members today.

SYKALA said that this month its members would start filing lawsuits in district courts. At the same time, the association would continue efforts to secure control over the remaining assets of Laiki, including the 18.1 per cent of shares in Bank of Cyprus (BoC).

SYKALA are part of the Laiki ‘legacy’ creditors who altogether hold an 18 per cent stake in BoC.

While Laiki is being wound down, its interests have been placed in the care of an administrator.

Legacy Laiki creditors now own stock in BoC via the equity-for-deposit swap – but only on paper. They cannot sell their shares until the ‘bad’ Laiki has been resolved – a process that could take years. Only once Laiki has been wound down, and the liabilities have been weighed against assets to determine what – if any – equity remains, will these BoC shares be assigned a value and their holders be allowed to dispose of them as they like.

During a meeting with the President last December, SYKALA even proposed that future state revenue from the sale of natural gas should go to Laiki depositors to cover their losses.

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