BANK OF Cyprus (BoC) does not want to foreclose properties, its chairman said on Friday, urging people who were deliberately not paying because they expected the lender to close to start meeting their obligations.
Christis Hasapis said the bank was trying to work out ways with its customers so that they could pay off their loans.
“Some customers who decided not to repay their loans for strategic reasons should start paying,” Hasapis said.
Asked to clarify, the BoC chairman said some people thought the bank would close down if they did not pay their loans.
This will not happen, Hasapis said, and those people should start paying up.
“The Bank of Cyprus will find ways to help customers and businesses who clearly cannot repay their loans,” Hasapis said.
Last month, BoC reported a €1.8 billion net loss for the first half of the year, impacted by its forced disposal of Greek operations and rising provisions.
The bank, forced to seize client deposits to recapitalise in March, was one of three Cypriot lenders forced to sell its Greek operations in March in an attempt to ring-fence the eurozone from contagion from a messy international bailout for the island.
Disposal of Greek operations resulted in a loss on disposal of €1.4 billion while impairment of loans was €539 million, BoC said.