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BoC must shed 20 per cent of staff

THE new Bank of Cyprus (BoC) must shed at least 20 per cent of its staff to survive, the leader of the bank employee union ETYK said yesterday, also suggesting that certain interests were behind delays in appointing a CEO to the stricken lender.
“To have hopes of survival, the new BoC must go ahead with a substantive reduction in personnel of – at least according to our estimates – 20 per cent initially,” Loizos Hadjicostis told the union conference.
The union chief said other measures would also be necessary as he voiced the workers’ readiness to accept pay cuts.
ETYK had asked for a voluntary retirement plan but the absence of a CEO made it impossible to proceed, Hadjicostis said.
“It appears that the Pope in Rome was elected with greater ease.” Hadjicostis said, adding that the interests there were not so deep or multidimensional.
The lack of leadership is weakening the bank and leading it to catastrophe, he said.
BoC is currently being run by an administrator who is overseeing the enforcement of a Eurogroup decision to resolve Laiki Bank, and transfer certain assets to Cyprus’ biggest lender.
The decision also included taking a chunk of uninsured deposits at BoC and using them to recapitalise the lender as per Eurogroup decision.
Depositors who lost money will receive equity in return.
After the procedure was completed, the new shareholders will vote to elect a leadership to replace the interim board currently in place.
Efforts to find a new CEO have failed so far.
A prime candidate withdrew his interest this week over the duration of the contract, which could not be longer than September – the period expected to complete the forced cash for equity swap.
Reports however, did suggest that the candidate had been forced to withdraw by Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades who allegedly favoured the runner up.

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