Cyprus Mail
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President’s criticism unjustified, CBC chief says

Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades (left) and President Nicos Anastasiades must work together

President Nicos Anastasiades’ criticism about him was unjustified, the Central Bank (CBC) governor said, as he warned that political interference in the regulator’s work did not help restore confidence in the banking sector.

“Political intervention in the supervisory role of the CBC, including criticism over the thorough evaluation of the fitness and probity of the newly-elected members of the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) board, is not conducive to restoring confidence,” Demetriades said in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency published on Friday.

On Wednesday, Anastasiades said he has lost patience with the governor and was contemplating recourse to the Supreme Court to get rid of him.
He accused Demetriades of not being up to the job and of dragging his feet on restructuring the island’s battered banking system.

The governor has also come under criticism from the political parties and business organisations for his prevarication over the evaluation of the new directors, which has not yet finished, 10 days after the AGM.

The Central Bank had still not completed the ‘fitness and probity’ evaluation of six directors, even though as a member of the resolution authority it had given its approval to all of them.

Demetriades told CNA the evaluation has been completed for five of the six directors.

The assessment team has asked to see the last one who could not travel to Cyprus this week but an appointment was set for Monday.

“This however, does not affect the operation of the BoC board in any way,” the governor said.

Demetriades rejected suggestions that the CBC was dragging its feet.

“It is a fact that the CBC’s intention was to complete this process before the AGM,” he said. “But the procedure requires the assessment team to have all the necessary data, something which unfortunately did not apply for a large number of candidates.”

The last questionnaire was received last Saturday, four days after the AGM, Demetriades said.

The team worked hard on a daily basis, including weekends, examining the data and asking the BoC for additional information when necessary, he added.

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