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Data protection commissioner urges caution over the sale of loans

Personal data protection commissioner Irini Loizidou-Nicolaidou said that banks need to adhere to the provisions of the data protection law when they sell financial facilities to third parties, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Thursday.

Loizidou-Nicolaidou’s intervention was prompted by Hellenic Bank’s announcement two days ago that it has agreed to sell €145 million in non-performing and terminated loans to Norway’s B2Holdings ASA, CNA reported.

Because the completion of the disposal of financial facilities presupposes and requires the share, collection, processing, storage and transmission of information including the borrowers’ personal data, as well as those of other affiliated parties, ‘all organisations involved, licenced credit institutions and third organisations have an obligation to act in accordance with the personal data processing law,” she said, according to CNA.

A Hellenic Bank spokesman said when contacted by the Cyprus Business Mail that ‘all transactions are based on the provisions of legislation and the supervisor’s regulations’.

Bank of Cyprus, which agreed more than six months ago to sell a smaller package of loans to the Cyprus Development Bank did not respond to a request for comment.

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