Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said on Friday he is investigating another scandal, this time concerning a former high-ranking official of a co-operative bank who received half a million in 2009 as early retirement compensation only to be re-hired by the same company as a consultant, while his son was appointed to the post he had vacated.
Michaelides told state broadcaster CyBC radio that this case concerns a well-known official of the co-operative bank of a district and the “scandalous ways” in which he retired receiving a fat check, only to be re-hired while arranging for his son to get his old post.
According to Michaelides, the man was working as a secretary at the bank with a very high salary until September 2009 when he left on early retirement, ‘after arranging with the bank, which he was running, that he would be given, the day after his departure, a contract with another job title’.
The man received a €500,000 lump sum as early retirement compensation, Michaelides said, and arranged with the tax department to get that money tax-free as it was meant for his loss of career.
The very next day, he said, he started working at the same bank as a consultant on an €100,000 annual salary plus a range of benefits that increased his income by around €20,000 more.
“To top it all up, the day he assumed duties as a consultant, his son was appointed in the secretary post. You realise these are very scandalous procedures,” Michaelides said.
In 2013 when the supervision of the co-op banks came under the central bank, Michaelides said, ‘he realised he could not keep this up, and left, receiving yet another bonus, around €70,000, for his services as a consultant’.
Michaelides said he sent the file to the attorney general to rule whether criminal offences arise.