The Central Bank of Cyprus generated a net profit of €116.1m in 2015 which is lower by €50.2m compared to that of 2014 mainly on a significant drop in net interest income.
The drop in the central bank’s profit will have an impact on public finances this year as the government, the main beneficiary of the central bank’s profit, will benefit with a revenue of €92.8m, or 80 per cent of the central bank’s profit, compared to €133m last year, the supervisory authority said in its audited accounts on its website.
The central bank saw its net interest income drop to €149.6m last year from €193.6m the year before, it said. Overall revenue fell to €157.3m last year from €212.6m in 2014.
Overall expenses dropped to €41.2m in 2015 from €44.3m the year before, as a more than €7m increase in administrative expenses was more than offset by a €10.4m drop in “other expenses” which include advisory fees, telecommunications and expenses on custodianship and automatisation infrastructure, the central bank said. Administrative expenses rose in 2015 to €11.9m last year and included a total of €6m in legal fees while other expenses fell to €1.4m.
The central bank’s overall wage bill fell slightly to €25.3m last year, it said. Salaries, pension contribution and social security fund contributions rose last year to below €20m from €19.4m in 2014, while interest expenditure on the pension scheme dropped by almost €0.5m to €3.8m last year.
The salaries of executives, which include the salary of governor Chrystalla Georghadji and the two executive board members, fell to €361,000 from €493,000 in 2014, the central bank said. In November 2014, Georghadji signed a new contract after it emerged she had changed the appointment contract proposed to her by President Nicos Anastasiades earlier in 2014 by increasing her annual salary sparking a public controversy.
While her new contract reduced the governor’s salary, it did not include a conflict of interest clause for first degree relatives she also removed from the proposed contract.
Georghadji, appointed in April 2014, earned in 2015 €182,000 compared to €132,000 in 2014, the central bank said. Wages for non-executive board members fell to €128,000 from €143,000 last year in 2014, reflecting the resignation of executive board member Stelios Kiliaris who submitted his resignation a year ago.
In 2015, the central bank’s had a total of €12bn in assets which included €3.8bn in other claims against banks in the euro area -which includes emergency liquidity extended to Bank of Cyprus-, €2.9bn in claims in the euro area, €2.2bn in euro area securities, €1.2bn in government debt, €886m in loans as part of monetary operations and €434.6m in gold reserves, it said.