Legacy Laiki Bank special administrator Chris Pavlou resigned his post on Wednesday, three days ahead of the expiration of his contract with the Central Bank of Cyprus’ resolution authority after talks for its renewal fell through, according to daily Phileleftheros.
Pavlou, 71, had been appointed special administrator in April 2015, following the resignation of his predecessor Andri Antoniades.
He had been vice-chairman of Laiki from December 2011, following its nationalisation after its taxpayer-funded €1.8-billion bailout, until its eventual demise in March 2013.
During his stint as special administrator, his public remarks at times raised eyebrows, as when he claimed, last October, that Russian lender Rosprombank was bought by Laiki in 2008 “not for commercial purposes”, and that the Russian mafia was involved in its running.
Pavlou has variously come under fire from political circles and Sykala, the association of former Laiki depositors, who demand that control of the failed lender’s remaining assets, most importantly a 9.6 per cent stake in Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, be handed over to them.
The special administrator has a mandate to dispose of legacy Laiki’s assets in such a way as to maximise value for creditors.
More than four years after the bank went under, many of the assets remain in Pavlou’s hands, with a reportedly substantial loss of value, but the special administrator urges patience.
Responding to yet another bout of criticism by Laiki depositors, who lost a total €4 billion when the bank failed, Pavlou said last March that most of the assets will have been disposed of by “this summer”.
In early 2014, it was estimated that total assets held by legacy Laiki were worth around €750 million, but their current value may be as low as half that.