By George Psyllides
CO-OPERATIVES will refund customers re-evaluation charges imposed in 2014, it emerged on Thursday.
Chairman of the Co-operative Central Bank (CCB) Nicolas Hadjiyiannis said the charges were levied last year as co-ops were preparing for the European-wide stress tests ahead of going under the supervision of the European Central Bank.
Hadjiyiannis said in most cases, the fine print on the contracts allowed the banks to charge for the re-evaluation.
But because the CCB did not want to do fine print banking, “we decided that all re-evaluation charges will be refunded,” he said.
Customers were charged €50 to €200, depending on the property value, which translates to a few million for the CCB.
The CCB chairman added that new products announced by co-ops would not have re-evaluation expenses.
As part of the island’s €10 billion international bailout, co-ops received €1.5 billion in taxpayers’ money to recapitalise.
The sector has been reduced in size through mergers, which saw the island’s 93 co-operatives merged into 18.