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Co-ops post €109 million nine-month profit

Cooperative branch

Co-op banks recorded a €109.5 million nine-month net profit, the Cooperative Central Bank (CCB) said on Friday, as it pledged to continue to support Cypriot households and small businesses.

“The results we are announcing today confirm the soundness and robustness of the co-operative credit sector and the stable upward course it has entered,” CCB chairman Nicolas Hadjiyiannis said.

Net interest income was €305.2 million while operating profits reached €189.4 million.

Customer deposits reached €12.2 billion and loans were slightly over €13 billion. The rate of non performing loans in the first nine months was 43.5 per cent.

The sector’s core tier 1 capital was €1.3 billion, or 13.4 per cent against the 8.0 per cent regulatory minimum.

Hadjiyiannis said the positive results filled the co-op sector with confidence to carry on playing its traditional role of “supporting Cypriot households and small businesses.”

The CCB announced last week it was cutting interest rates student loans to 4.5 per cent, and introducing a scholarship programme for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Cyprus.

CCB said the rate reduction will come into effect as of January 1, 2015, and will apply to both new and existing student loans – the latter on condition that repayments are up to date.

With regard to the scholarship, the CCB said it has allocated €400,000 to cover 40 four-year undergraduate programme studies, as well as ten postgraduate programmes.

The sector has been overhauled under the terms of the island’s €10 billion bailout, which saw its nationalisation.

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