By George Psyllides
BANK OF Cyprus (BoC) employees appear to be at loggerheads with their new colleagues from Laiki, which is in the process of being absorbed in line with the country’s bailout deal.
Bank employee union ETYK confirmed yesterday there was a climate of “animosity and discord” among the staff and that it had received complaints of arrogant behaviour.
“This behaviour is damaging, unacceptable and certainly disastrous for the bank’s effort to survive,” ETYK said in a circular.
To receive a much needed bailout, Cyprus had to agree to close Laiki and recapitalise BoC by raiding uninsured deposits – over €100,000.
The deal provided that BoC, currently in administration, would absorb certain Laiki assets and its employees.
Following the March 25 decision and the decrees issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus in its capacity as the Resolution Authority, BoC has acquired the insured deposits and the majority of Laiki’s assets and loans.
As a result it currently operates in Cyprus through 202 branches and with 5, 640 employees – 85 branches and 2,390 employees were transferred from Laiki.
Their union urged all employees to rise to the occasion and show solidarity and respect.
The union said it had received complaints that a few ex-Laiki executives had exhibited arrogant behaviour “but this doesn’t incriminate the overwhelming majority of the bank’s employees.”
BoC employees responded in a similar manner in a bid to secure their positions, ETYK said.
ETYK urged workers not to listen to divisive whispers and isolate those who spread such rumours for the sakes of personal gain.
The union also censured the bank management for failing to act to prevent the development of animosity.
“We expect much more from the bank because we all know that human resources are the foundation stone of any effort to survive,” ETYK said.
The union is currently engaged in talks with the management to draw up an early retirement scheme to help shed over 1,500 staff by the end of the year.